Gov. Whitmer signs bill protecting dogs, cats from euthanasia in research facilities

Posted at 3:57 PM, Dec 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-14 23:29:37-05

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a pair of bills Wednesday ensuring dogs and cats are treated humanely when used for research.

The signing comes several years after the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) uploaded a video showing several dozen beagles that were reportedly forced to consume chemicals in Michigan.

Those dogs were later released.

Gov. Whitmer signs bill protecting dogs, cats from euthanasia in research facilities

Dubbed “Teddy’s Law,” Senate bills 148 and 149 require dealers and research facilities to make sure the following actions are taken:

  • Surrender dogs and cats to shelters when they have served their research purposes instead of euthanizing them.
  • Permit written agreements to be made that may renounce a shelter’s or adoptive pet parent’s right to hold shelters and research facilities accountable for an animal’s medical or behavioral issues.
  • Impose fines for violating the above stipulations.
  • Require annual reports to be filed by research facilities disclosing the number of animals handed over to shelters within the last year.

Fines for violating Teddy’s Law without a previous violation range between $1,000 and $10,000, depending on the number of animals involved.
"It's going to save hundreds of animals lives every year," Humane Society of Michigan State Director Blake Goodman said.

Teddy’s Law is named after one of the beagles who was rescued from euthanasia after undergoing pesticide testing for a year, according to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

"For us, euthanasia always should have been a last resort that never should have been relied on," Goodman told FOX 17.

Goodman added that if you give these pets a chance, you might be surprised to see how much love they can give.

"As soon as you show a dog or cat love and affection, and give them proper care and a consistent home, they open up. They become the pet that they always could have been, that companion that someone always wanted," he said.

READ MORE: With Dow beagles in new homes, dog testing still ongoing in Michigan

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