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Adopting Animal Companions

We firmly believe that our ethical responsibility to our animals does not end once a research project is complete.  If euthanasia is necessary for the collection of tissue for further study, we ensure that it is always done humanely. However, when euthanasia is not required, we take every step possible to identify homes that are compatible for the unique needs of our animals.

Bob Adams and his dog Louis

Our animals are never euthanized due to an inability to re-home them. Rather, our institution has well-established processes to ensure the safe re-homing. Through our collaborations with faculty, staff and community partners, as well as reputable rescue organizations, our re-homing efforts have been incredibly successful. We have been able to find homes for all of our cats and dogs, and none of our animals have been returned to us for further re-homing. 

We are committed to complying with all federal laws that govern the use of animals in research. Requiring state reporting and oversight would set Maryland apart from the rest of the country at a time when many research organizations, including the National Academies for Science, Engineering, and Medicine, as well as the federal government itself, have identified regulatory burden as a significant hindrance on research. 

What happens to the animals once the research project concludes?

Many research questions require analysis of tissue samples, most of which are collected from euthanized animals. Animals involved in projects that are non-invasive can be adopted out.

What is Johns Hopkins’ process for adopting out animals?

Briefly, the attending veterinarian will make the final determination whether the animal would make a reasonable adoption candidate based its research history and physical exam. For more information, please see our policy.

Do you work with any rescue or animal adoption agencies to re-home your animals?


What percentage of your adoptable cats and dogs are re-homed vs. euthanized?

100 percent of adoptable cats and dogs are re-homed. 

Why do you oppose the companion animal bill?

The bill requires an institution to work with a rescue organization in every case, and does not allow for direct adoption. The bill also imposes an unprecedented new reporting requirement that, as described by the sponsor of the bill, would require the person or entity to whom the animal is given to be identified. This requirement could expose our researchers and those who adopt our animals to harassment and abuse, as has occurred elsewhere in the country.