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Mizzou Announces New Animal Research Adoption Partnership

Homes for Animal Heroes partnership to augment robust adoption program at MU

June 15th, 2017

Story Contact: Jeff Sossamon, 573-882-3346, sossamonj@missouri.edu

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The University of Missouri has a robust adoption program for animals involved in research; since 2007, 394 dogs and 294 cats have been adopted at Mizzou. Recently, the Office of Research announced that in an effort to expand its adoption program, it has partnered with Homes for Animal Heroes (HAH), a national program dedicated to placing retired research animals in loving homes.

“Homes for Animal Heroes is a program of the National Animal Interest Alliance that helps establish and expand animal adoption programs at research institutions and facilities such as Mizzou,” said Jeff Henegar, director of animal care and quality assurance at MU. “We’re excited about partnering with Homes for Animal Heroes and look forward to helping place even more of our animals in loving homes.”

These animals have helped researchers to discover key factors in a variety of human and companion animal conditions, including cancer, joint and musculoskeletal disorders, heritable genetic disorders, neurodegenerative diseases and muscular degenerative conditions. In many cases, dogs are the final step to testing lifesaving therapies and diagnostics needed for human clinical trials.

“Animal research on the MU campus, and throughout the country, has led to discoveries that have saved the lives of both humans and animals,” said Mark McIntosh, MU interim vice chancellor for research, graduate studies and economic development. “MU researchers take the utmost care of their research animals, follow all federal and state laws, and must go through a rigorous approval process before beginning their studies. It’s through these adoption programs that we can recognize the contributions these animals make and help place them with loving families.”

Through the HAH project, several foster caregivers have been approved to prepare research animals for adoption. These foster families have an opportunity to raise and socialize their foster dogs while evaluating them for permanent placement with the families that are right for them.

“Our foster team took care of five dogs earlier this year,” Henegar said. “We were able to find them homes in late April, and all reports are that our dogs are making wonderful pets in their new homes.

Once an animal has been placed in a foster home, adoption applications are evaluated by both the HAH regional coordinator and the foster caregiver to ensure potential adopters are a good fit for the animal. Additional information regarding the adoption process may be found at http://animalheroes.naiaonline.org/giving-homes/adoption-process/.

For information about possible adoptions, contact Pat Wiese, the Missouri HAH regional coordinator, at (971) 212-7490, or pat.wiese@naiaonline.org.

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