Animal Adoption Policy

It is the purpose of this policy to allow laboratory animals that are not assigned to protocols to be adopted by individuals as pets. For adoption to occur, several conditions must be met:

The purpose for which the animals were purchased originally no longer exists, and the animal cannot be transferred for use in another study or course.

The animals eligible for adoption have not experienced any manipulation that has altered permanently its anatomical, physiological, metabolic, or locomotor functions. In addition, they must have no sign of compromised health either natural or experimentally derived. The Psychology Department of Westmont College will examine animals that are adoption candidates and determine their health status. Although the good health of an animal is a prerequisite for adoption, Westmont College will not guarantee the health or temperament of adopted animals.

Application for adoption shall be made by the interested party and approved by the course instructor or principal investigator.

Availability of animals for adoption will be publicized by "word of mouth." No written or published advertisement will be used or authorized.

Once animals have been adopted, they cannot be returned to the Psychology Department or housed in the Psychology/Neuroscience Vivarium for any reason, whether temporarily or permanently.

Individuals adopting animals must:

  1. agree that the animal will not to be sold, given away, released into the wild, or otherwise released from the individual's care.
  2. agree that the animal shall not be returned to the Psychology Department or housed in the Psychology/Neuroscience vivarium for any reason, either temporarily or permanently.
  3. accept the animal in its present condition.
  4. understand that there are no expressed or implied guarantees relative to the health or temperament of the animal and
  5. agree to take care of the animal in a manner that is considered appropriate for a pet of this species.
  6. agree to hold harmless from liability the Psychology Department or its agents and Westmont College or its agents.
  7. agree to sign an Animal Adoption Agreement.

The course instructor or principal investigator will meet with the person adopting the animal(s) to finalize the Animal Adoption Agreement, communicate the equipment and care requirements for the animal(s), and turn over the animal(s) to the adopter.

Two copies of the Animal Adoption Agreement will be completed. One will be archived in the Psychology Department; the other, given to the adopter for his or her records.

Additional information about the responsibility of caring for an animal

Download an Adoption Agreement Form to complete and turn in to your instructor (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Adapted from:

ANIMAL ADOPTION AGREEMENT including WAIVER AND RELEASE OF CLAIMS in use by the Board of Regents, University of Wisconsin System on behalf of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

ANIMAL ADOPTION RECORD in use by the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater

Laboratory Research Animal Policy in use by the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center

Laboratory Animal Adoption Program in use by the Division of Comparative Medicine, University of South Florida

Rev. 08/23/2004