Press Release
Senator Tony Bucco Senator Tony Bucco (R-25)
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Contact: Erin Darreff / (609) 847-3600
February 22, 2019
Bucco Bill to Give Research Animals a New ‘Leash’ On Life Passes Senate

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‘Home for Animals Heroes Act’ Creates Road to Adoption for Former Research Animals

Legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco (R-25) that would give cats and dogs serving as research animals a chance to find their “forever home” has passed the New Jersey Senate. The bill would require the State’s higher education institutions to offer laboratory animals to rescue organizations for purposes of adoption.

Legislation sponsored by Sen. Anthony Bucco (R-25) that would give cats and dogs serving as research animals a chance to find their “forever home” has passed the Senate. (©iStock)

“Every animal’s life is worth saving, yet dogs and cats who are used as research animals are often euthanized, instead of being given the chance to find a loving home,” Senator Bucco said. “Creating a road to adoption will ensure our furry friends get a new ‘leash’ on life.”

“The Humane Society of the United States thanks Senator Bucco for his leadership on this humane measure which offers animals who are suitable for adoption after being used in research, the opportunity to be placed in a loving home,” said Brian R. Hacett, the New Jersey State Director for the Humane Society of United States. “People who have adopted former research dogs and cats can attest to the resilience and affection of these animals once they are given the chance to flourish in a home environment.”

New Jersey uses more research animals than any other state in the country, according to the USDA. In 2017 alone, more than 5,000 cats and dogs were serving as research animals.

Senator Bucco’s bill, S-2826, would require an institution of higher education that uses cats or dogs for educational, research, or scientific purposes to offer the animal to a rescue organization or an adoptive family.

Beagles are the most common dog breed used in animal testing, because of their size and passive nature. In 2017, Happy Paws Rescue, a New Jersey animal rescue organization, aided in the adoption of more than 50 research Beagles.

Bucco explained that his legislation would allow research animals, such as Beagles, to find a home instead of being euthanized once research has concluded.

Additionally, S-2826, would permit institutions to enter into agreements with animal rescue organizations to meet this requirement on an ongoing basis.

Currently, at least seven other states have similar legislation that ensures research animals have a pathway to adoption.

“Cats and dogs deserve a life after the laboratory,” Bucco added. “This legislation connects research institutions with rescue organizations, giving the animals retired from research the opportunity to be adopted into their forever home. Many happy tails will be wagging as a result of our lifesaving bill.”

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