NAVS Urges Support for New and Continuing Legislation Promoting Adoption of Lab Animals

Update 7/10/18: Rhode Island passes bill! New Jersey Senate introduces a companion bill; Massachusetts and Pennsylvania continue to work to pass legislation.

In 2018, NAVS is once again strongly promoting legislation that will allow the adoption of healthy dogs and cats no longer needed by laboratories for research, testing or education. So far this year, Maryland, Delaware and Rhode Island have passed legislation, bringing the total to nine states (California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New York and Rhode Island) supporting this action.

In 2017, NAVS launched a campaign to encourage legislators to support a law to require laboratories that use dogs and cats for research to adopt out healthy animals when they have finished the research, testing or educational activity for which they are being used. Letters went out to thousands of legislators to sponsor a bill to give dogs and cats used for research a chance at a loving home and many states introduced this legislation.

New legislation was introduced in numerous states, and some of those bills are still active this session.

If you live in a state that has legislation pending, please contact your legislator and encourage them to support this legislation.

Pending legislation

DelawareSB 101 Would require research facilities that receive public money that use dogs or cats for research, education, testing or scientific purposes to offer healthy dogs and acts for adoption through an animal rescue organization or through private adoption.

6/27/17 SB 101 approved by the Senate with a minor amendment; sent to the House for consideration.

3/21/18 Hearing scheduled with House Health, Children & Social Services Committee.

5/1/18 House passes the bill, with amendments.

5/8/18 Senate voted unanimously to House version of the bill.

6/20/18 Governor signs the bill into law.

Hawaii, HB 3/SB 593 Would require a research facility that intends to euthanize an otherwise healthy dog or cat for any purpose other than scientific, medical or educational research to offer the dog or cat for adoption.

3/7/17 SB 593 approved with a slight amendment by the full Senate

3/15/17 House Agriculture Committee deferred this bill. HB 3, which was unanimously approved by the House Agriculture Committee, was not considered by Judiciary Committee for passage.

11/30/17 Both bills carried over to the 2018 session.

No action taken on either bill, died at end of session.

Indiana, SB 16 Would require research facilities to enter into an agreement with an animal care facility for the adoption of any healthy animal no longer being used for testing, evaluation or observation to an animal shelter or animal rescue organization.

3/14/18 No action was taken, died at end of session.

IowaHF 594 Would require research facilities to establish a program for the routine transfer of dogs and cats no longer used for testing, evaluation or observation to an animal shelter or animal rescue organization, or directly to the public. Research facilities would establish health and psychological conditions for animals to be eligible for transfer.

12/31/17 Died in committee

Maryland, HB 732 and SB 675 Would require research institutions in which dogs or cats are used for scientific research purposes to take reasonable steps to provide for the dog or cat once the research institution determines they no longer need the animal for research purposes.

2/27/18 Hearing held before House Committee on Education, Health and Environmental Affairs

3/13/18 Hearing held before Senate Appropriations Committee

3/15/18 Passed Senate with a unanimous vote, sent to House for consideration.

4/6/18 Passed House with a unanimous vote, with amendments. Returned to Senate.

4/9/18 Passed Senate, sent to Governor.

4/24/18 Approved by Governor.

Massachusetts, S2387 Would require research institutions and product testing facilities to offer cats and dogs used in research to an animal shelter or rescue organization for adoption if the animal is deemed appropriate for adoption. This bill substitutes for several other bills under consideration by the Massachusetts legislature, but would no longer limit the use of an animal by a research or testing facility to two years.

7/11/17 Hearing held on H3232 before Joint Committee on Public Health.

9/12/17 Hearing held on S 489 before Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture

2/7/18 Committees must vote on whether to support these bills.

4/2/18 Senate amends bill and substitutes S2387.

4/2/18 Bill reported favorably from the committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture; referred to committee on Senate Ways and Means


Pennsylvania, HB 2164 Would require research facilities to offer healthy dogs and cats used in research to an animal shelter or rescue organization for adoption, or to arrange for private placement of the animal for adoption.

3/26/18 Referred to committee on Agriculture and Rural Affairs


Rhode Island, H 7414 Would require higher education research facilities that receive public money to offer healthy dogs or cats no longer needed for research to an animal rescue organization or animal shelter for adoption, or offer them through private placement, instead of euthanizing the animals.

2/28/18 Held for further study.

4/11/18 Passes the House, goes to Senate for consideration

6/13/18 Hearing scheduled in Senate Environment and Agriculture

6/21/18 Senate passed bill; awaits signature by governor


Washington, SB 6624 Would require publicly-funded higher education research facilities to offer dogs and cats to an animal rescue organization for adoption instead of euthanizing the animal once he was no longer needed for research or science.

3/8/18 No action was taken, died at end of session.

Model Law
If your state does not already have a law or pending legislation, request your legislator to introduce a bill to require researchers to adopt out instead of euthanizing dogs and cats no longer needed for research. Give them a chance to spend their lives in a forever home.


For more information on the adoption of cats and dogs in research facilities, go to the NAVS website.

This entry was posted in News on July 12, 2018.
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