Tuesday, March 30, 2010
“Shelter” as murderous misnomer
Animal “shelters” (though sometimes mis-named, considering how animals can be badly treated in such places) have a name that suggests a temporary safe place, a haven and hopefully a way-station before a “forever home.”
In Utah, shelters can have a far different meaning. They’re shops, where animal experimenters buy animals to use in their labs. It’s true. According to a story in the latest Animal Times from PETA, this happens at the University of Utah (the U) in Salt Lake City.
Banned by 17 states and Washington, D.C., this barbaric practice known as “pound seizure” is legal in Utah and two other states where government-funded shelters are required to turn animals over to laboratories that request them.
As the article puts it, “This is a betrayal of homeless animals and of the public, which counts on animal shelters to serve as safe havens for cats and dogs.” It details some specific cases, in which animals were subjected to horrific treatment by the U’s experimenters. And yes, death is often the outcome for the animals involved, although by then, it may be a welcome end.
To watch an undercover video, visit PETA.org/UtahLab, and/or write to the university president: Michael K. Young, Univ. of Utah, 201 S. Presidents Cir., Rm. 203, Salt Lake City, UT 84112.
Localizing this issue, we wonder how shelters in New Jersey guard against the same thing happening here. How quickly can a person adopt an animal? On the initial visit? What kind of checking is done, both before and after adoption? . . .
For the animals’ sake, “shelters” must live up to their name.