Sending Office: Honorable Kathleen M. Rice
Sent By:

        Request for Cosponsor(s)

Endorsed by the Humane Society of the U.S. and the Humane Society Legislative Fund

Current cosponsors: Blumenauer, Cohen, Fitzpatrick, Hastings, KatkoNorton

Dear Colleague:

Please join me as a cosponsor of H.R. 2850, the bipartisan Humane Retirement Act, which would establish an adoption policy for Public Health Service research institutions that take part in testing with cats and dogs. This simple, common-sense bill
will ensure that healthy cats and dogs find suitable homes once their research careers have ended.

Within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), eight agencies are designated components of the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS). Three of those agencies, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA),
and National Institutes of Health (NIH), currently conduct tests and research on animal subjects. While current law strictly governs the care and use of animals involved in research, testing, and training activities, there’s been a glaring oversight on the
opportunity to privately adopt these research animals. This bill would clarify the situation, requiring PHS agencies to make a reasonable effort to offer adoption for any dogs or cats that are suitable for private placement following completion of testing
or research.

Several states, including California, Connecticut, Illinois, Minnesota, Nevada, and our home state of New York, have enacted similar legislation in the last several years. The
Humane Retirement Act builds on these state-level bills by reserving researchers’ right to determine which animals are suitable or not for adoption and giving them immunity from civil liability for anything that happens relating to an adopted animal
after placement. The bill is also tailored to apply only to the PHS agencies themselves, and it would not govern institutions that receive funding or grants from the agencies. 

In 2018, the Department of Veterans Affairs became the first federal agency to enact a formal adoption policy, and several federal agencies and non-government research institutions already adopt out animals voluntarily to great success. It’s time to expand
this practice to the Public Health Service.  

For more information or if you would like to become a cosponsor, contact Michael Demakos with Rep. Rice at or Elizabeth White with Rep. Katko at



Kathleen M. Rice                                                                              John Katko

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