Gov. Jay Inslee this afternoon signed into law a bill requiring higher education institutions that use dogs and cats for research offer the animals up for adoption before considering euthanasia.
Senate Bill 5212 was passed out of both the Senate and the House unanimously, with stakeholder support from the University of Washington, Washington State University, and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. WSU has used cats and dogs in research projects related to pharmacology, nutrition, orthopedics, arthritis and cancer therapy, helping to improve overall animal health and comfort.
The legislation was sponsored by Senator Guy Palumbo, D-Maltby, who serves as Chair on the Senate Higher Education & Workforce Development Committee and operates his own dog boarding business in South Snohomish County.
Under the bill, any animal made available for adoption would first be assessed by a university’s attending veterinarian to determine suitability for adoption. The bill does not preclude universities from using research animals for other educational uses before making them available for adoption.