Albany, NY - August 16, 2016 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation requiring cats and dogs used for research by higher education institutions be offered for adoption through private placement or shelter organizations.
“This is a humane law that, for these animals, provides the opportunity for a new lease on life,” Governor Cuomo said. “Dogs and cats are like members of the family for many New Yorkers and this action will allow for more four-legged friends to be adopted into a caring home.”
The bill (S.98-A/A.8261-A) would require the animals be deemed suitable for adoption by the attending veterinarian at the research facility. Once the research involving these dogs and cats is completed, academic institutions would then make them available to local shelters, animal rescue centers and humane societies, in order to be adopted.
Numerous animals in New York are currently suitable for adoption at research institutions, yet because of barriers in the placement process, animals may instead be euthanized. Shelter organizations have expressed great interest in adopting these animals due to their status. This new legislation will save the lives of countless cats and dogs by placing them with authorized animal protective associations, which will manage their care and ensure their well-being throughout the adoption process.
This legislation will also permit research facilities and adoption organizations to enter into a long-term adoption program to accept these cats and dogs on a rolling basis.
Senator Phil Boyle said, “When I first introduced the Research Animal Retirement Act over two years ago, I hoped that we would see this day. I commend Governor Cuomo for signing into law this measure which will allow Research Animals in New York State to find loving homes after their testing lives. I urge all New Yorkers thinking about adopting a dog or cat to consider these beautiful research animals who have given us so much.”
Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal said, “Now that this bill has become law, research animals will finally have a chance at a second life. Research animals live their lives being poked and prodded by humans, purposefully made sick to keep us well, and they are deprived of the affection and human kindness that many dogs enjoy. After this long and often tortuous service, they are usually euthanized, ending a miserable existence. I want to thank Governor Cuomo for being a hero to our animals, and Senator Boyle, who was an amazing partner in seeing this legislation become law.”