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Saving Lost Pets

July 19, 1987

If you lost your pet and couldn't find him, would you want him to be sold for laboratory research?

In San Diego, through a Board of Supervisors' contract, the Department of Animal Control sells about 1,000 animals yearly to UC San Diego. This practice is called pound seizure.

Pound seizure is not needed for vital medical research. Hundreds of scientists have testified that pound animals are used in research because they are cheap--not because they are good models for humans. Pound animals are inappropriate for research, as their medical and genetic history is unknown.

Research will not go bankrupt if pound seizure is stopped. At UC San Diego only .08% of the annual research budget goes to purchase pound animals. Obviously, this amount is so small that even if it were to triple, the cost increase could be covered by a very modest budget increase. Plus, pound animals require expensive conditioning and many die before or during the research and thus their low cost is illusory.

Shelters shouldn't be warehouses for laboratories. They should serve as guardians, caring for animals until they are adopted or humanely put to death. Research is not a humane death. No laws protect the animals from pain and fear.

The San Diego Coalition to End Pound Seizure, a consortium of 16 animal-protection groups, urges you to write your supervisor and politely request an end to the contract between UC San Diego and Animal Control. Our lost pets are counting on you.


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