When Gayle Nielsen surrendered her dog Sheena to the North Utah Valley Animal Shelter (NUVAS), she hoped to find Sheena a better home. Gayle wanted to make sure Sheena found a home, so she checked in on her regularly. Instead of finding a new home, though, Gayle discovered that the shelter sold Sheena to the University of Utah’s laboratories.
Sadly, Sheena’s sale isn’t an isolated incident. NUVAS continues to sell animals to the University for experimentation. NUVAS is the only animal shelter in Utah that continues this horrifying practice. The blog Our Compass reported, “Dogs recently purchased from the animal shelter had holes cut into their chests and necks and pacemakers implanted onto their hearts in order to induce irregular heartbeats; the dogs were then killed and dissected.”
Nationwide, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia and the District of Columbia have laws that prohibit shelters from providing animals for research.
But until early 2010, Utah maintained an archaic law that actually mandated that shelters give strays and other unwanted animals to research. The new law, H.B. 107, means pound seizure is now discretionary rather than mandatory for Utah’s public shelters. NUVAS is the only shelter in the state to continue selling its homeless dogs and cats for research.
Organizations like Dying to Learn and the American Anti-Vivisection Society are working to end the use of animals for research. Dying to Learn recently released a comprehensive report detailing which universities use companion animals for experimentation and from where they obtain those animals.
Sheena was lucky. Gayle — with assistance from PETA — was able to rescue her from the university before she was a victim of experimentation. But it’s time for NUVAS to end this archaic and cruel practice of selling companion animals for research.
Tell North Utah Valley Animal Shelter: Stop the appalling practice of selling dogs and cats for experimentation.