Maryland Research Animals Will Get Adopted – Let’s Make It a National Law

Finally, thereís some relief†for dogs used in scientific research in the state of Maryland. Thanks to a bill passed by state legislatures, facilities that use animals in their tests must now make a good faith effort to find these animals homes afterwards rather than resorting to euthanasia.

So long as a veterinarian determines that any dog or cat used in an experiment is healthy enough to be adopted, researchers will be obligated to help find their former subjects a home so the latter part of their lives are much more enjoyable than their time spent in a laboratory.

Itís exciting news for the 100,000+ Care2 community members who signed this Care2 petition encouraging the Maryland General Assembly to get the bill passed. Now weíre looking to make this apply throughout the country by petitioning the U.S. Congress to pass similar legislation at the federal level.

Obviously, itíd be far better if animals were not used as test subjects altogether, but until laws mandating animal research for certain products are repealed, itís worth our collective efforts to give these poor animals a second shot at a happy life.

In the past couple of years, Maryland legislators have considered similar bills with no success. The big difference this time around is that John Hopkins Medicine, which had opposed previous iterations of the bill, finally got behind the concept now that researchers can set up their own adoption systems and arrangements without having to do it through the state.

Ultimately, itíll be up to the facilities to determine whether they will create their own direct adoption system or team with existing animal shelters to have them find these animals loving homes.

The legislation Maryland passed has been nicknamed the Beagle Freedom Bill because beagles are the most common breed selected for use in scientific experiments. Fortunately, the number of dogs used at John Hopkins in medical research has already dropped drastically. The number has dropped 90 percent in just 13 years, going from 493 dog subjects in 2005 to 49 in 2017. That means way fewer doggies who need to be homed.

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A handful of other states Ė New York, Minnesota, California, Connecticut, Nevada and Illinois Ė have passed their own versions of Beagle Freedom Bills. Thatís great for the animals in those states, but what about research animals in the other parts of the country?

Until we can prevent these animals from becoming test subjects in the first place, the least we can do is make sure that they have loving families for the post-research phase of their lives. Sign this Care2 petition to encourage our federal legislators to finally do right by these vulnerable animals and make sure they get adopted rather than euthanized.

Photo credit: Thinkstock


HEIKKI R4 months ago

thank you

Peggy P
Peggy P5 months ago

This is a great cause. I think we should more of these kinds of efforts promoted on Care2.

Mark Donner
Mark Donner5 months ago

Animal "researchers" are every one of them criminals. Don't be fooled into thinking they're some kind of "professional" or "intellectual". They all belong in maximum security prison with the other murderers and criminals. If I ever saw one of those monsters I would take steps to protect everyone around me. They're dangerous criminals that are a threat to society.

Nicole H
Nicole H5 months ago

@ Terri S : Sorry, but I think your suggestion is not a good one. Of course, now you have 1 animal that suffers testing during several years, and most probably is euthanized afterwards. When lab testing on animals should be allowed, but only for a certain period of time, the number of animals that WILL suffer in a lab will be multiplied 3 x, 4 x or more. And what is to happen with these animals after that period of say 1 year. Dogs and cats can eventually get special training to be adopted, but is this also the case for rats, mice, monkeys, pigs, etc.. ?? There is ONLY 1 solution : BAN ANIMAL TESTING, WORLDWIDE.

To complete my comment : All the dogs and cats I have had in the past, were all adopted. Except for one which we had to return to the shelter (destroyed really everything), all were very loving, nice and friendly animals, also with strangers and children.

Nicole H
Nicole H5 months ago

IT IS WITH GREAT JOY that I note that these research animals will get adopted. And I certainly hope that others will follow. First of all NO ANIMALS should stay in laboratories for cruel, painful testing. And the dogs who are now still in laboratories are to be released immediately.
As far as their future is concerned, I personally find they should NOT be placed in ordinary shelters. These dogs have suffered so many traumas that it will not be easy to introduce them in the society. They come in the labs as from the age of 7/8 weeks. They have never been outside, don't know what a lawn is, etc.. Most dogs in the shelters have known at a certain period a more or less normal life in a family with people, children, other dogs and animals, etc.. etc.. This is NOT the case for these lab dogs. Therefore special training is needed before they are adopted to avoid problems in the families, and the dogs being returned to the shelters. This is NOT what we want !!! They have suffered enough and we need to be nearly 100 % sure that adoptions will be successful.

sharon b
sharon b5 months ago

Previously signed.

Ruth S
Ruth S5 months ago


Sherri S
Sherri S5 months ago

I'm happy to hear this, but I'd rather hear that testing on animals would be STOPPED!

Judy t
Judy t5 months ago

It should be a National Law to prohibit animals to be used in research labs.

Peggy B
Peggy B5 months ago

Petition signed