Over 200,000 dogs, cats, and rabbits are used in experiments each year in the United States. Many of these animals and the experiments they are used in are paid for with public funds in the form of grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Sadly, even when animals survive an experiment, they may be killed and discarded if they are considered no longer useful to the laboratory.
The Companion Animal Release from Experiments (CARE) Act was introduced in October 2021 by Congressman Tony Cárdenas (CA-29). Backed by Cruelty Free International, if passed, the legislation would require research facilities that use dogs, cats and rabbits for research purposes and receive funding from the NIH to develop and implement adoption policies for such animals when no longer used for research. The bill also requires facilities to maintain records of the animals and make them available to the public.
Talking about the bill, Congressman Cárdenas said: “It’s simple: if a research facility uses pets for research, then they must work to find them homes. We experiment on over 200,000 dogs, cats and rabbits each year. The least we can do is give these living beings a chance at life in a loving home. My bill requires research facilities funded by the NIH to develop adoption policies for those animals. This is part of a larger effort to move away from animal-based testing and research wherever possible and toward more humane and sound scientific research.”
While we work toward ending all animal experiments, we want to make sure that the survivors of experiments are sent home. Shelters and rescue organizations throughout the US place thousands of dogs, cats, and rabbits into loving homes each year and many are eager to do the same for laboratory survivors.
There are currently 14 states – California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia and Washington – that have enacted laws governing the post-research placement for dogs and cats used in publicly funded research institutions. A national requirement is needed to ensure that research institutions that receive taxpayer funding establish adoption policies for companion animals that are no longer used for research, including finding such animals a home and implementing transparent policies concerning the success of such a requirement.
YOU can help #SendSurvivorsHome by completing our quick form asking your US Representative to support the CARE Act.
To help build critical public support for the bill, we have teamed up with some of the most beloved “animal influencers” to inspire animal-lovers across the US to ask their US Representative to support the CARE Act.
Lil Hobbs and Ginny & Minnie, Belarus the Cat and Oreo the Bunny Rabbit who collectively reach a fan base of nearly one million people across TikTok, Instagram and Facebook all took part.
Oreo the Bunny Rabbit told his followers in one post, “As families come together with the holiday season approaching, Oreo and I want to reach out to everyone and ask for your support for the CARE Act. Cruelty Free International is working to help change the lives of animals used in labs. While the fight against animal testing is ongoing, we want to still give the current animals in labs a chance. With over 200,000 animals being used in experiments each year in the US, it’s disheartening to hear that they may be killed and discarded if they are considered no longer useful to the lab. Every animal deserves a loving family like Oreo!”
Belarus the Cat said, “In my home, we believe all creatures big and small, rescued and special, deserve love. That's why we're teaming up with Cruelty Free International to spread awareness about the CARE Act.”
One Lil Hobbs post read in part, “Hobbs has an important message to share that is near and dear to his heart. Every year, 64,000 dogs, 18,000 cats, and 145,000 rabbits are used in research experiments in the United States, and many are killed afterward instead of going to a loving home. With your support, this can change!”
And Ginny and Minnie’s people explained to their followers that they were supporting the campaign because, “We want more animals to live the dream that our dogs do every day”.
You can help by asking your US Representative to become a cosponsor of the CARE Act and by promoting the bill on social media using the hashtag #SendSurvivorsHome. You can also show your support with our campaign T-shirts and hoodies.