The decision of our county Board of Supervisors to continue the practice of "pound seizure"--where animals are sold from county shelters for laboratory experimentation--was a crushing disappointment to those of us who attended the hearing. I would like to briefly state some of the reasons why pound seizure should be discontinued:
--Having been trained as a "classical" researcher, I can find no legitimate reason for using animals of unknown genetic background and environmental experience in research. The benchmark of scientific experimentation is control, and the lack of control that must accompany using such animals results in poor research with spurious results.
--As a clinical psychologist I have found pets to have psychotherapeutic benefits for people. It is shamefully wasteful to kill and discard animals with therapeutic potential when their placement with new owners could be beneficial.
--As an author and researcher on the "human-animal bond," I have consistently found data indicating that people form exceptionally strong emotional bonds to animals. It is therefore repugnant to realize that someone's lost "child" may end up on a researcher's surgical table.