Michigan has passed two new bills protecting research dogs and cats from euthanasia, potentially saving an average of 600 dogs and 100 cats each year.

Senate bills 148 and 149 – known as “Teddy’s Law” – require research facilities to now surrender their cats and dogs to shelters rather than euthanize them once research is completed. They must also provide annual reports releasing the number of animals surrendered to shelters each year.

Research organizations found violating these laws will face fines ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 for first-time offenses, depending on the number of animals involved, according to a Fox 17 news report.

In turn, written agreements can be made to prevent the animal’s adoptive family from holding the research facilities or shelters accountable for medical or behavioral issues.

The bills were created in part due to a Michigan-based video released in 2019 showing dozens of beagles being forced to consume pesticide chemicals. Teddy’s Law is named after one of the test beagles who was later rescued and adopted.

“For the past four years, we have been working to get justice for dogs and cats used in animal testing. This bill is a win for all animal lovers, regardless of party, and I look forward to helping ensure animals used in testing are able to find their forever homes,” explained Michigan State Senator Kevin Hertel.

“After the outpouring of concern and support that was expressed for the welfare of these animals, it is clear that Michiganders want to see impactful change,” added State Senator Dayna Polehanki, who co-sponsored the bill. “These animals have been through so much and they are more than deserving of a safe and loving home.  

We are thankful that hundreds of Michigan research dogs and cats will now receive the opportunity for a better life.

These dogs and cats need and deserve loving homes. Please remember to adopt, not shop when bringing a new companion animal into your family.