Some state efforts move forward, while others must wait for a new legislative session
UPDATE 10/08/2015: Governor Brown signs California bill into law!
In 2014, Minnesota passed a law that will require publicly-funded institutions of higher learning to adopt out their dogs and cats used for research and education instead of routinely euthanizing them when they are no longer needed. While this measure will not end the use of these animals for research, it does reflect a new trend recognizing that animals deserve to enjoy a good life after their time spent in a laboratory. Four other states introduced similar legislation in 2014, and many other introduced similar measures for consideration in the 2015-16 session.
If you live in a state that has legislation pending, please contact your legislator and encourage them to support this legislation.
If you live in a state that does not yet have this legislation, please consider downloading a model bill from the Animal Law Resource Center and sending it to your state legislator for consideration.
Update: This bill was pulled from committee and will not move forward this year.
California, AB 147 Would require public and independent post-secondary educational institutions to offer healthy dogs and cats no longer being used for research to an animal adoption organization instead of euthanizing them.
Update: Governor Jerry Brown sign this bill into law on October 7, 2015. Thanks to everyone who have his office a call to urge him on.
Connecticut, HB 5707 Would require state and private colleges and universities that use cats or dogs in laboratory research or testing to offer such cats or dogs for adoption by animal rescue organizations after such testing and to establish standards for the provision of proper shelter to dogs.
Update: This bill was passed by the state legislature on June 3 and became law on June 16, 2015, thanks to advocates like you!
Illinois, HB4292 and HB4297 Would require institutions of higher education that receive public funds for scientific, educational or research purposes to make dogs and cats available for adoption through an animal rescue organization before considering euthanasia. HB 4297 contains exceptions for animals unsuitable for adoption.
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Maryland, HB 567 Would make it a criminal offense for any higher education, scientific or medical research facility that conducts investigation, experimentation, instruction or testing using dogs or cats to euthanize such dog or cat without first offering the animal to an animal rescue organization.
Update: This bill failed to pass before the end of the legislative session.
Nevada, SB 261 Would require healthy dogs and cats at research facilities or product testing facilities to be offered for placement with non-profit animal rescue and shelter organizations prior to euthanizing the animal. Would also limit the length of time that a research facility or product testing facility can conduct research on a cat or dog to two years.
Update: This bill was signed into law by Governor Brian Sandoval on June 2, thanks to advocates like you!
New York, SB 98 and A3622 Would require educational institutions of higher learning that conduct research to offer healthy dogs and cats that are no longer being used for research to an animal adoption organization instead of euthanizing the animals. The bill would apply to educational institutions of higher learning and research done in collaboration with these institutions. A facility that is required to offer dogs and cats to a non-profit animal rescue and shelter organization may enter into an agreement with such a group to implement this section.
Update: These bills died in the Assembly at the end of this legislative year.