They've spent their lives in laboratory cages being experimented on so that researchers can make medical breakthroughs. Their sacrifices have saved countless human lives. The very least we can do is give them a chance at a happy life outside the lab.
Right now we have a chance to help give these dogs and cats the loving homes they deserve. The Maryland General Assembly is currently considering the Humane Adoption of Companion Animals Used in Research Act. If passed, this bill would require research institutions to work with animal rescue organizations to find homes for dogs and cats used in research once they are no longer needed for experiments.
When students in the Pet and Animal Welfare Society at Johns Hopkins University found out about the bill, they started a Care2 petition urging their state legislators to pass it immediately. Will you sign their petition?
Johns Hopkins University, one of the largest research institutions in Maryland, is lobbying against the bill because they think it will be used to put restrictions on types of animal research they perform. The university also claims that the bill is unnecessary because they have their own adoption program for lab animals.
While it is commendable that the university makes an effort to find homes for their research animals, the adoptions are still done on an ad hoc basis. Even Johns Hopkins University's own students don't think this is enough. A formal statewide adoption policy would ensure that every dog and cat used in research, not just some of them, has a chance to find a loving forever home.
Similar legislation has been passed in California, Connecticut, and Minnesota. As a result, dogs and cats regularly transition successfully from their sad existence in the lab to a thriving life in a happy home. Scientists are still able to do their research, but the animals are saved from being needlessly euthanized.
The Humane Adoption of Companion Animals Used in Research Act is a compassionate and rational piece of legislation. The only reason it hasn't already been passed is because Johns Hopkins University has such a powerful lobby.
So sign this petition today urging the Maryland General Assembly to pass this bill that could save thousands of animals' lives for years to come. If enough of us speak out, we may be able to drown out the university's objections.