By Jeremy B. White
More dogs and cats used for medical research could avoid early deaths under a bill passed by the California Assembly on Thursday.
While some animals find new homes after being test subjects, many are euthanized – of the 54 dogs University of California researchers tested in 2013, 24 were adopted and 32 were euthanized, according to Assemblyman Matt Dababneh, D-Encino.
Dababneh’s Assembly Bill 147, which passed the Assembly 75-1 and now heads to the Senate, would have publicly funded research institutions like universities either set up on-site adoption programs or work with animal adoption groups to offer up sufficiently healthy animals to prospective pet parents.
“The goal is to make sure before these animals are euthanized, every possible measure is taken to adopt them out,” said Dababneh, who was sporting a purple tie with a terrier print pattern.
Many universities already have adoption programs, Dababneh added. His bill seeks to ensure all of them make some attempt to extend the lives of animals that had been tested using taxpayer dollars.
“My constituents showed me their animals they’d been able to adopt out, how they made them loving pets, how these animals for the first time in their life walked on grass,” he said.
The sole no vote came from Assemblyman Matthew Harper, R-Huntington Beach, who said the state should let universities create their own programs rather than mandating them.
“These are decisions to be made at the institutional level,” Harper said.