Principal agrees to halt ‘live animal’ experiments after shelter post about unwanted domestic rats

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An animal shelter in Whatcom County, Washington, helped a school in Lynden revise its policy for using live animals in education “experiments.” Whatcom Humane had expressed “huge disappointment” after a teacher brought eight domestic rats to their facility after a school “experiment” ended.

The shelter’s public post said:

On Friday a teacher from the school brought in 8 domestic rats to “donate” (her words, repeatedly!). The teacher explained that the rats were used in a 5th grade class as an “experiment/to observe.” Now that the “experiment” was over, the rats were no longer of value and as such, abandoned at WHS.

The rats were in enclosures that we too small and lacked the enrichment necessary for the rats to live humanely. The shelter wrote:

The teacher requested the enclosures be returned so they could be used again. WHS offered several suggestions and ideas to the teacher about ways to provide appropriate humane education and lesson plans to the students at Lynden Christian and we offered to visit the school to provide alternatives to using live sentient beings for classroom experiments.

Fortunately, the principal of the school quickly took action and spoke with staff at the animal welfare agency. The shelter said:

Lynden Christian School Principal Mr. Van Maanen visited WHS this afternoon and met with WHS executive director Laura Clark. The two had a very positive meeting and discussed how to work together to provide humane education opportunities for the students at LCS.

Explaining that the program would no longer exist at the school, and expressing gratitude for the prompt response:

Mr. Van Maanen made it clear that the type of program outlined below would not be taking place in the future and was excited about the opportunity to work with WHS in the future. FANTASTIC NEWS -and many THANKS to Mr. Van Maanen for being so proactive and willing to address this situation so quickly.

The surrendered rats

The shelter said:

We are happy to report these sweet, intelligent domestic rats are now being housed in spacious cages with enrichment toys, napping hammocks and loving their new high quality domestic rat-specific diet, along with fresh water and comfy bedding materials.
If you are interested in adopting one or more of these domestic rats (they should be adopted in pairs or groups as they are social creatures), please contact us at: adoptions@whatcomhumane.org

Read more: Badly neglected dog finally well enough to get a real home

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