A new bill aims to give lab dogs second chance

Teddy's Law is named after an adopted Beagle
Posted at 6:40 PM, Mar 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-04 20:55:01-05

(WXYZ) — A new bill introduced in Michigan aims at helping dogs who’ve endured a horrible life.

It stems from an investigation we first told you about back in 2019. Beagles were forced to be the subject of experiments.

Now the bill, called Teddy's Law, could provide more of them with the life they deserve.

“This is Teddy. This is Teddy’s law,” said David Rubello when testifying in committee hearings.

Teddy was a Beagle in his previous life. He was one of the dozens captured in an undercover humane society investigation 7 action news reported back in 2019.

WXYZ’s Brian Abel reported in 2019, “They found 36 Beagles subjected to toxicity testing.”

After the humane society campaign, some of those Beagles, like Teddy, were released by Dow AgroSciences from its pesticide testing.

Millie was another of those Beagles who only knew life in a lab.

WXYZ 7 Action News Reporter Brian Abel asked Tammi Roeske via zoom if she noticed any signs that Millie was being tested on.

“No, absolutely not. I mean, she was eager to visit our other two dogs. She was eager to come up and see us. She gave kisses, and she just was all about, you know, being," said Roeske. "You can see she is just all about attention and being friendly, and that's just her."

Millie was granted a second lease on life. A chance to put the pain of her past behind. But not all dogs tested on in Michigan are given that chance.

Teddy’s Law is trying to change that.

The bill is about the unnecessary euthanization of dogs across the state.

St. Clair Shores Representative Kevin Hertel re-introduced the bill that saw a committee hearing last week.

This is what Hertel had to say about Teddy's Law:

“It is important to note that some of this testing is required by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in order to get products to market and get approvals. So, we understand that some of this testing right now is necessary. We would like to work to lessen the need for it and make sure that animals are protected across the board. And so, we saw this as a way to make sure, at least now that when these animals do undergo testing, that they are given the opportunity for a second chance and a loving home."

Teddy's Law would require research facilities to offer animals no longer in research to shelters for adoption before euthanizing. It's receiving pushback from some in the legislature and agri-science.

President and CEO of MichBio Stephen Rapundalo commented while testifying in a committee hearing. “A misguided effort to address a problem that simply doesn’t exist," said Rapundalo. "Michigan’s public and private research enterprises already have adoption programs."

Hertel believes that’s more reason for Teddy’s Law to become law.

“If you're already doing this, then why not have a law to make sure that everybody is a good actor, that everybody does this,” said Hertel.

Advocates say Beagles like Teddy and Millie, who were scheduled to be euthanized before the public backlash generated from the humane society investigation, are living examples of the promise of Teddy’s Law.

“She went from the first year and a half sleeping in a cage 24/7 to sleeping in a king-size bed. She loves it. She's brought a lot of joy, a lot of love and a lot of education to a lot of people,” said Roeske.