A small number of animals are lucky enough to have made it out of a lab and into a loving home. Here are some of their heartwarming stories:
Flower, Thumper and Bambi the Mice.
Flower, Thumper and Bambi are three of the fifty mice who were used for teaching purposes at Massey University. This is the first and only group of animals who have been offered over to NZAVS and HUHA since MPI announced their support for the rehoming of ex-research, testing and teaching animals! Read more about their story here.
Watch the beginning of their journey here:
Lewi the Rat
Lewi was rescued from a research facility in NZ. He was lucky enough to be saved and live a life full of eating snacks, socialising with his new sisters, cuddling with his human, and napping in his very own hammock. Read more about Lewi here.
Billy the Beagle
Billy was rescued from the Valley Animal Research Centre in 2011. Billy was used to breed from; his puppies were used for research. He now lives with his human parents Jenny and Nigel and lives a life of luxury! Watch the short clip about Billy and his new parents below.
Willow the Rat
Willow was rescued from a university in NZ as a baby. She was initially very scared and couldn't be handled. Now her human mum Monique can hold and cuddle willow with no problems. Her favourite foods are peas and watermelon. Sadly Willow is blind (which Monique thinks is due to the type of testing she had to endure) but she has a wonderful life and has a guide rat (a young rat who helps show her around her house and find the water and food bowl etc.). You can see video footage of Monique and Willow together here.
Archie and Monty the Rats
Archie and Monty were two of a small group of rats rescued from a vivisection facility in New Zealand. We (NZAVS) adopted these two beautiful rats, and they lived at our National Office in Christchurch. They spent their days getting lots of TLC from our volunteers, eating their favourite food and inspiring everyone they met! Read more about Archie and Monty here.
We know that a lot of people have tried to rescue and rehome lab animals in New Zealand. Many students are forced to use live animals in their coursework when they don't want to and have tried and been stopped from doing so. Your stories and experiences can make an impact and ensure changes are made. We'd love you to share them here for others to read and to be shared with MPs. Please email us with what you experienced; just let us know if you want to remain anonymous, which is understandable. Thank you!
“I studied some animal behaviour papers at University, one of them involved doing experiments with mice. These were all really humane tests and mainly involved observing different breeds of mice and how their behaviour differs. After my class was finished with these mice (around 60 of them) I was really curious to know what was going to happen to them. After finding out they were all going to be gassed once we were finished with them I was truly horrified
All of these mice were perfectly healthy and judging by the way they all clung to the side of the cage trying to wedge their little heads between the bars, they wanted to live.
I started asking my teachers if I could re-home them or just keep them myself, they told me it was above their power and that they couldn't do anything, I then tried to reach out to other people and sent numerous emails trying to find someone who could help me save these mice. Having no luck and after making a lot of my teachers annoyed I contemplated just taking the mice, unfortunately, my teachers figured this out and said if any mice were missing they'd know it was me. In the end all the mice were gassed and I was left feeling helpless and incredibly guilty. There was no need for these animals to die, animals who are used in experiments in the name of science should not have to be killed after we are done with them. It makes absolutely no sense when there are people out there willing to give them a good home”
“When I was a young Trainee Veterinary Nurse, we had a practical lesson at Wallaceville Animal Research in Upper Hutt. The lesson was in IV catheterisation and fluid therapy. The lesson was held at the animal research centre because there were breeding dogs that we could use and practice on during the lesson. The dogs we used were healthy Labrador-types.
At the end of the session, the Vet/Tutor told us that he had always been curious as to how much air you would need to inject into an IV line in order to kill an animal. He proceeded to suck air into a large syringe and was about to inject it into the dog he was demonstrating on.
His reasoning was that the dog was of no longer required for research anymore and was due to be euthanized by the research team anyway. As his audience was a group of young animal-loving trainee vet nurses the vet did not get to fulfil his curiosity that evening. Though I suspect the dog's life ended soon after as per the research protocol."
If you have stories like this that you would like to share with us, get in touch — email@example.com.