Teddy, a beagle saved from a Michigan research lab in 2019 after an HSUS undercover investigation at Charles River Laboratories, is now the namesake for important bipartisan legislation in the Michigan House that could drive progress for laboratory animals.
Teddy’s Law is comprised of two bills. H.B. 4481 provides a pathway for dogs and cats used in research to be placed for adoption with a state-registered shelter. “Based on our investigation, it’s pretty clear that it’s standard for animals to be euthanized at the end of experiments,” says HSUS Michigan state director Molly Tamulevich.
H.B. 4482 requires Michigan labs that use dogs and cats to report the number of animals euthanized and adopted each year and will penalize laboratories that do not comply with adoption standards. Currently, labs are required to report to the U.S. Department of Agriculture how many animals are used each year, but these reports can be misleading. USDA reports, for example, show about 800 dogs and 200 cats were used in experiments in Michigan in 2019, but our investigation showed that Charles River Laboratories, which is based in Massachusetts but has a lab in Michigan, has thousands of dogs. Facilities are not required to report the number of mice, rats or birds to the USDA.
“So many Michiganders would be happy to adopt these dogs,” says Tamulevich. “Michigan has a very strong community of animal welfare advocates.”