The animals placed for adoption are almost all dogs and cats, which Bayer releases to our partner organizations free of charge. They have been thoroughly examined and vaccinated by veterinarians.
Organizations like Laboratory Beagle Help (Laborbeaglehilfe), the Help for Laboratory Animals Initiative (Initiative Hilfe für Labortiere e.V) and the Cologne Model program cooperate with us to place former research animals in homes with private individuals.
More than 4,000 animals have now been adopted through these programs. “The demand has risen so greatly that we have now had to introduce waiting lists,” explains Magda Ditges, the head of the Wermelskirchen animal shelter. All of our partners in the adoption programs make sure that the animals are placed into experienced hands, and they offer support and regular meetings to the new pet owners.
Are laboratory animals any different from their domesticated counterparts? “I had actually expected a dog from a research laboratory to present a few problems,” admits Sabine Richter, whose family adopted a beagle named Vita from the Wermelskirchen shelter, “but Vita was a very nice surprise.” Within a very short time she was house-trained, and she became very friendly with dogs and people.
A study of research animal adoptions, funded by Bayer and conducted by an external veterinarian, found that 91.7% of owners of former laboratory dogs would choose another laboratory dog today, with the experience they made. This proves the tremendous satisfaction of the owners and the success of the adoption program.