dogs and catsstatus of cats and dogsIn this interesting article David Grimm describes the changing public opinion about biomedical research that involves animals, observing:

as Americans have embraced pets as virtual children . . .they’ve soured on animal research. In 2001, only 29% of the public deemed animal testing ‘morally wrong;’ by 2013, it was 41%, and 54% of those aged 18 to 29.

Animal research is essential, not only to research, develop and insure medications and treatments are safe and efficacious for humans, but also for animals.  As the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology notes “[d]ogs remain critical in understanding the fundamental processes of life and in developing treatments for injury and disease.”


dog research

The emergence of a new strain of canine influenza virus which sickened many and killed some dogs in and around Chicago earlier this year, can be controlled with a newly USDA conditionally approved vaccine, that could only have advanced this far in the approval process because it has been tested on animals.

As noted by the AVMA:

H3N2 canine influenza appeared limited to Korea, China and Thailand until March 2015, when an outbreak that started in the Chicago area was determined to be due to an H3N2 strain.

The H3N8 canine influenza virus represents a very rare event in adaptive evolution; the entire genome of the H3N8 equine influenza virus was transferred to dogs, and the virus adapted to the canine species to emerge as a new canine-specific virus.

If you are interested in giving back to some of these animals who have been so critical in the advancement of biomedical research, consider providing a home to those “heroes” through Homes for Animal Heroes, a nonprofit dedicated to helping the research community who has been rehoming research animals for more than 40 years.

As they explain:

Animal-based research is still critical for saving and improving human and animal lives, and the truth is that dogs, and other animals, are still a necessary part of this process.

They help us understand and treat a variety of cancers, along with numerous cardiovascular, metabolic, joint, skeletal, muscular, neurologic, and even cognitive disorders. Researchers continue to explore and develop non-animal alternatives to meet our demands for cures, and we support this quest wholeheartedly! In the meantime, animals are still required for biomedical progress and we are grateful for the improved health and well-being that we and our pets continue to enjoy as a result of their contributions.

These dogs are heroes to countless people and animals. We, literally, owe them our lives. Many of them need homes when their work is done.

If you are looking for a new pet, or want to contribute to a notable cause, now is the time to support an animal hero.