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Animal Adoption, Resale and Transfer Policy

College of Veterinary Medicine – Kansas State University


The College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University recognizes the invaluable contribution of research and teaching animals to the advancement of biomedical knowledge and the training of professional and graduate students. The College endorses and promotes the responsible, humane and appropriate use of research and teaching animals and recognizes the importance of the concepts of refinement, reduction, and replacement in our research and teaching animals as defined by W.M.S. Russell and R.L. Burch in their book The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique (1959, reprinted in 1992 by the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare, Herts, England).

The College recognizes that euthanasia is intrinsic to the design of some projects. Other projects may lead to illness or disease conditions for which euthanasia is the most humane option. Often, however, animals finish a research or teaching project in good health but may not be suitable or are not needed for any other projects at the institution. In such circumstances, the principal investigator, responsible faculty member or research team (hereafter referred to as P.I.) may consider finding adoptive homes for the animals. It is understood that an adoption program not only enhances the quality of life for healthy research animals that are no longer needed by the College, but can also decrease stress and raise morale for both the research and the animal care teams. We believe that responsible and compassionate researchers and teachers utilize animals only when necessary; therefore it follows that we should do our best to ensure good lives for those animals whose sacrifice is not required by science.

The College recognizes that adoption of research and teaching animals raises the potential for human health and safety concerns. While it is impossible to reduce health and safety risks to zero, animals selected for adoption must be healthy and present minimal risk of transmitting zoonotic infections. Animals on infectious disease studies, especially with zoonotic infections, are unacceptable adoption candidates (except for uninfected controls). No live animal can be guaranteed not to bite or scratch, but animals should be of good temperament thereby reducing this risk. Therefore, potential adoptive animals must be chosen carefully.

The College recognizes that adoption programs may carry significant costs, both in money and labor. The principal investigator or responsible faculty member of a research or teaching project should decide while preparing a budget for the project if adoption of animals will be feasible. If upon completion of the project the animals qualify for adoption, the P.I. will make arrangements for payment of all costs associated with the adoption program. Therefore, funds for additional per-diem and species-appropriate neutering and vaccination should be planned and budgeted for prior to the initiation of a research project if possible. Although the College will strive to maximize the opportunity to adopt or transfer animals when feasible, there are many factors such as funding, space or resources, that may affect this decision.  

The following conditions must be met in order to place an animal for adoption, transfer or resale:

  1. An animal will be considered for adoption only if the purpose for which the animal was acquired no longer exists, the animal will not be needed in another IACUC approved study, and space is available to house the animal prior to adoption. Once the original study has been completed the principal investigator or a member of the research team will contact the Animal Resource Facility (ARF) office to determine if another investigator needs the animal for a pending project. The transfer of research or teaching animals to another project will be discussed and meet with the approval of the original P.I. If an animal is suitable for a pending project the responsibility of the animal will be transferred to the Animal Resource Facility. The new P.I. will immediately assume per-diem costs. Reimbursement arrangements must be negotiated between the original P.I. and the new P.I. prior to transfer of a research/teaching animal.

  2. A food animal or other animal determined to have a market value by the P.I. (or unit that purchased the animal) and ARF may be sold. If the animal to be sold is a food or dairy animal, the P.I. must complete the SALE AND DISPOSITION OF FOOD ANIMALS form. This form certifies that the animal to be sold has not been administered an infectious agent, biohazardous material, and all drug withdrawal periods have been observed. The Animal Resource Facility (ARF) has responsibility for the actual sale of the animal. The P.I. or unit that purchased the animal will receive the funds generated from the sale of the animal, less ARF’s transport and ancillary fees.

  3. An animal will be indicated as potentially suitable for adoption on the animal use approval form submitted to the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. If an animal being acquired is intended for adoption following termination of the project, then the P.I. will indicate on the form that an attempt will be made to adopt the animal upon completion of the proposed research or teaching project. The P.I. may state a time period during which animals will be housed while attempting to place for adoption. If an animal is not adopted during the stated time period, the investigator will state a method of euthanasia.

  4. An animal may be placed for adoption only if in good physical condition. An animal must not have experienced any manipulation that in the opinion of the P.I. and attending veterinarian detrimentally altered its anatomical, physiological, metabolic, or locomotor function. The animal must be free of detectable infectious disease or physical abnormality, which would threaten animal or public health. An animal infected with a biohazard, treated with radioisotopes, or implanted medical devices will not be eligible for adoption. However, removal of medical devices may render an animal eligible for adoption, provided normal recovery occurs. An animal that served as a negative control in an infectious disease study may be suitable for adoption.

  5. Investigators with an animal for adoption will submit a complete research/medical history to the Attending Veterinarian of the Animal Resource Facility that explains the procedures the animal underwent. The P.I. will state in this report that in the investigator’s opinion, the animal could make a suitable companion and appears to be healthy. Before being considered for adoption, animals must be examined by the Attending Veterinarian of the Animal Resource Facility. The Attending Veterinarian of the Animal Resource Facility must determine that the animal is free of detectable diseases and has a temperament suitable for adoption.

  6. Dogs and cats must be neutered and vaccinated for rabies prior to release. The principal investigator of the project under which the animal was most recently utilized must arrange for payment for the cost of housing the animal (per-diem) during the time it is being placed for adoption and potential additional costs associated with neutering and vaccination.

  7. The individual adopting an animal must sign a waiver which states the University is not liable for any injury or damage to persons or property by the adopted animal. The waiver further states that no warranties, guarantees, or promises of any kind have been made or can be made with regard to the adopted animal’s physical condition or temperament. The owner assumes all further responsibilities associated with responsible companion animal ownership.

  8. An animal purchased from a Class A Dealer (purpose-bred) may be eligible for adoption as long as the above conditions are met.

  9. Animals purchased from Class B dealers (random source) are usually not eligible for adoption because of potential uncertainty as to animal’s health history and possible exposure to zoonotic diseases. An exception may be made for these animals provided they have been on a long term (> 6 months) research project and appear to be free of infectious or zoonotic diseases.

  10. No animal donated or previously client-owned may be adopted unless designated for potential adoption by the donor or client.

  11. At the time of transfer of ownership, the adopter shall assume all financial responsibility for housing, care, and medication of that animal.

  12. Individuals 18 years of age or older are eligible to adopt animals. If a minor desires to adopt an animal, an adult parent or guardian must also be an adopting co-owner.

  13. For each animal being adopted an "Animal Release/Adoption Record" will be completed and signed by the Department Head, Principal Investigator, adopting party, and the Attending Veterinarian of the Animal Resource Facility. This record should be maintained by the ARF for a period of 3 years from the date of signature by the new owner.