BY CRYSTAL SCHAEFFER
ROOTS IN THE 19TH CENTURY
THERE ARE SEVERAL REASONS WHY AAVS OPPOSES THE USE OF ANIMALS IN SCIENCE, BUT THE CORE OF OUR MISSION IS STRUCTURED ON A SIMPLE ETHICAL PRINCIPLE: THE ENDS DO NOT JUSTIFY THE MEANS.
It was true when AAVS was founded in 1883, and it remains true today. Starting in Philadelphia, AAVS worked to prohibit the release of dogs from pounds for use in experiments, a practice called pound seizure. At the time, an animal captured by a dog catcher or otherwise taken to the city pound could suffer in many unimaginable ways in a research laboratory. Though not practiced often today, pound seizure remains, but it is now the middleman of this unpopular business, ‘random source Class B dealers,’ who earn the notoriety typically associated with the use of companion dogs and cats in research.
The shelter founded by Caroline Earle White provided veterinary care for animals in the Philadelphia area.
4 2013 HOW PETS LAND IN LABS
THE BIRTH OF AAVS As a supporter of the American Anti-Vivisection Society, you may be aware that the word ‘vivisection’ is associated with animal research. Actually, it is a Latin term that means cutting something alive. In the late 1800s, the translation into English was fairly literal; animals were commonly experimented on with no anesthesia. Dogs and cats used in research were often stolen or just picked up off the street, with no regard as to whether or not they had a home with a human family. Several prominent women of the time, led by AAVS founder Caroline Earle White, devoted their lives to helping these animals, establishing our nation’s first shelter in 1869.1 Additionally, the women’s shelter succeeded in gaining authority over the city pound,