Pound dog update – some positive news for dogs used in science

Pound dog update – some positive news for dogs used in science

Kiwis are animal lovers and with many of us having dogs as part of our whānau, it's hard to imagine that these beautiful loyal animals can be used as mere research tools. 

We discovered yet another case where dogs were taken from a pound in NZ and used in a cruel animal test. In 2005, 21 dogs were obtained from the Tararua District Council Pound and 14 of these dogs were fed food with poison in it. Within 3.5 hours, 10 of them were dead. Symptoms lasted a long time (over an hour in some cases) before death.

As soon as we found this out, we contacted the Tararua District Council and told them about what we had found. Their response brought relief! Their current team didn’t have this information before as council records are only retained for 10 years and their animal control team is relatively new.

They said, "rehoming dogs for this purpose would not happen under our current practices." 

We’ve now reached out to all local councils once again, to find out if they rehomed any dogs to institutes or individuals to be used in research testing or teaching purposes in the past 5 years.

The results are promising with most of the councils responding saying no, they haven't adopted out dogs to be used in science. 

How the councils responded: 

  • No, they haven’t rehomed any dogs for this purpose in the past 5 years: 56 councils gave this response.
  • They donated one euthanised dog for teaching purposes: 1
  • Unclaimed dogs have been provided for teaching purposes: 1
  • Didn’t answer our question: 9

View the full results here.

Together we are continuing to hold institutes accountable and defending animals used in science. Thank you all so much for being a part of team NZAVS!

Also, a special thank you to our superstar Intern, Brooke for helping conduct this important research.



Some important background info:

  • Last year we exposed an experiment that involved dogs being taken from a pound and fed poisoned possum meat. Read more about this here.
  • We also published an update after contacting all city councils to find out if any of their pounds had a policy to prevent dogs from being rehomed to institutes to be used for research, testing or testing purposes. Overall, we received a positive response with a number of councils creating a policy as a result of our email. Read more about this here.