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Victory! Utah Pound Seizure Stopped

Written by PETA | March 1, 2011

Following PETA’s undercover investigation and an intense year-long campaign, the University of Utah (also known as “the U”) has announced that it will no longer purchase dogs and cats from North Utah Valley Animal Shelter (NUVAS)—or any other animal shelter—to be used in invasive and deadly experiments. Since the U was the last Utah purchaser of homeless animals for use in experiments, this victory means the complete end of “pound seizure” in the state of Utah!

PETA’s shocking investigation at the U in 2009 has prompted a sea change in the treatment of animals in Utah. Until then, public shelters were forced by law to sell animals to the U. Soon after we broke our case, the U was cited for nine violations of federal animal welfare laws, Utah legislators amended the state’s pound-seizure law so that government-run animal shelters could choose not to sell animals for experimentation, and the shelter that was then selling the most animals to the school ended the practice. A PETA lawsuit compelled a city to turn over records of the animals it sold to the U so that the public would know who these betrayed animals were. And who can forget Sheena, the loveable mutt whom PETA helped rescue from the U, where she would have gone under the knife, just in time for Christmas.

Sheena, outside, enjoying the snow.

The U’s decision appears to have already pushed it to find more humane research methods. Instead of repeatedly forcing tubes down shelter cats’ throats in a cruel and crude intubation training course, the scheduled animal laboratory was recently canceled after PETA protests, and modern human-infant simulators were used instead.

Now, animals entering the state’s animal shelters will no longer be betrayed by those who should help them, and Utah residents with missing dogs or cats can at least know that if their beloved animal companions make it to a shelter, they won’t be sold to laboratories, where they would experience lives filled with suffering and grisly deaths.

A huge thank-you to all of you who asked the U and NUVAS to do the right thing by animals. This is a major victory, but there are still too many animals suffering in university laboratories—in Michigan, South Carolina, and Ohio and in both Dallas and Galveston, Texas, just to name a few. So please keep speaking up until every cage is empty. And to help PETA continue to help animals, become a member today!

Commenting is closed.
  • Vicki says:

    This is such GOOD news!!!! I am SO glad to be a part of this. I only wish we could stop animal abuse all together. But this is a good start.

  • Sylvia says:

    FANTASTIC news. Now, PETA suporters/members/advocates/activists are READY to take on university labratories in Michigan, South Carolina, Ohio, Dallas and Galveston. We can and will shut these down as well!

  • poppet says:

    I had no idea this sort of thing happened especially in the land of the so called free !!!!! good grief glad I am here to help

  • Diana says:

    Thank you for everything you do.That is great news!


    THANK YOU PETA……i wish you could do the same thing in MICHIGAN……..i did not know they were still doing this……..what can you do to stop this here…..i am so happy that those dogs and cats are saved from the horrrible way of dieing this is a win for those animals who have suffered and the ones who were saved from this horrible death…….

  • Linda says:

    This is great but PETA needs to attract many more students around the country to educate the future generation about sharing the earth ethically with our fellow creatures!

  • Amy says:

    I love hearing this stuff!!!! Great work team and to everyone else who signs petitions etc! Way to go!

  • D.A says:

    I’m so happy that THAT cruel practice has been put to a halt there yet sad that this actually exists in the U.S. How can those evil people do that to animals we consider our best companions – Cats and Dogs? It’s disgusting and they should pay because of the suffering those animals have gone through must’ve been tremendous.

  • mexys says:

    Wonderful victory! Continued success to PETA and all their efforts to end animal abuse throughout the world! I will support you forever!

  • busschots says:

    merci pour eux, vous êtes leur sauveur !!! continuez,, c’est trop bon des nouvelles comme ça ,,

  • Lori says:

    God bless everyone who made this victory possible.

  • Mike says:

    All animals should have a party on this victory!!

  • Evelyn Rosa says:

    God Bless you Peta. We can’t exist without you.

  • Maureen Harrison says:

    all torture to animals must stop…. it makes me want to throw up when i think of all gods creatures being abused by man kind….. they were not put on this earth to treated this way…. shame on universities and so called humans , etc who make this ok….. thank god for organizations like PETA….. should be more people who care….

  • Betty says:

    Send an email to the U thanking them for listening to us and letting them know that we’ll be watching to make sure they live up to their commitment!

  • Heather says:

    It’s even hard to comprehend that an animal ‘shelter’ would stoop to such low levels to allow this to happen! SPCA must stand for Such People Complete Asses! I am beginning to have less and less respect for these ‘not-for-profit’ places….right…sell dogs…not for profit…??

  • Rachel says:

    What a victory for PETA!!! I continue to remain a proud supporter of this organization. Until this investigation, I never thought that an animal shelter would further betray already abandoned animals. I praise PETA for uncovering this unethical and cruel arrangement and putting a prompt end to such illegal negotiations. Thank you PETA(and all supporters)for fighting the rights of all animals. Educating the public about the atrocities that occur, and providing methods to take action, give animals the voice in society they most certainly deserve!

  • Barbara Miller-Stacey says:

    THANK GOODNESS FOR PETA. I was so thrilled to learn that FINALLY this University will no longer use domestic shelter animals for their research testing! Victory for our animals. Keep up the good work.

  • sharon says:

    Let’s end all experiments on all animals. Please.

  • antony says:

    Thanks for stopping the sadists.

  • diana says:

    PETA makes me proud. Your endless effort and focus is the only light at the end of the tunnel for animals in today’s cruel world. Your accomplishments are huge. THANK YOU.

  • Shawn says:

    This makes me so happy! Go free you furry creatures! I love you PETA, thanks for your hard work!

  • roxana paola vera says:

    basta de violencia y explotacion animal..

  • therainione says:

    What about the monkeys??? The refusal to give them water…and then using water to make them do what researchers wanted..was one of the most evil things I;ve heard yet..

  • Elsa&ThePack says:

    PETA must be the best thing that have happened to animals, ever!. Thank you for the often heartbreaking work you do. If there is a heaven, you guys will be the first thru the portals. Elsa and her pack.

  • PETA says:

    Melmac, PETA’s investigator worked undercover for eight months in 2009 inside laboratories at the U and documented miserable conditions and immense suffering for dogs, cats, rabbits, monkeys, mice, rats, and pigs that we believe constitute violations of federal regulations and guidelines and state anti-cruelty laws. PETA’s campaign to end the U’s shameful relationship with local animal shelters included more than a dozen protests, advertisements in student and local newspapers, a successful open records lawsuit, distributing more than 2,000 door hangers in Utah County, and a billboard on Interstate 15 near NUVAS’ Lindon animal shelter.

  • PETA says:

    Tawny, more than 90,000 supporters responded to PETA’s action alert and e-mailed university administrators to call for an end to the practice. We’re pleased that they listened, and thrilled to report that no animal in Utah will again be sold to a lab.

  • Valerie says:

    Thx. so much PETA for all your efforts to put a stop to this!–:0) Congradulations & keep up the good work you guys do for the love of ALL the animals!–;) I’ll continue to support your organizations efforts always & anyway I can!–:)

  • Colum Nolan says:

    You are doing great work. GOD’S SPEED TO YOU PETA 🙂

  • Wendy says:

    That is AWESOME news! Im thrilled that I can make a difference. But how do we stop the other Universities and pounds and how can I help?

  • Gilly says:


  • li guang wen says:

    Please keep continuous efforts to make (all) All animals are abused, in the earth. Earth into a paradise on earth, but also a paradise for animals.

  • Ana Paula says:

    This are great news. I am so pleased to hear and to notice that, besides the fact that there are still numerous places that torture animals, there are also more and more of those places ending their activities thanks to the work of associations like PETA. All the best for you, and keep up the wonderful work on making our world a better place. I will always support you on your battles.

  • Nance says:

    I thought my response did not mean much, but seeing this result, I just cried out for happiness and relief! good job and thank you!

  • Nathalie says:

    Thank you!!! I’m SO happy! Both of my dogs are rescues, and I’m just so thrilled that these dogs & cats will no longer be tortured. Thank you!!

  • Gina says:

    This is a great victory and I am so happy PETA is around to make these victories really happen. I can’t imagine having to go undercover and watch this happen. I don’t think I couldve stayed undercover for that long. Iwould want to do to them what they are doing to these helpless animals. Yes this is a great victory but we have so much more to work on and if any of these people had hearts and compassion they wouldn’t be doing this but these people have to be stopped and I would love to help in anyway I can.

  • S says:

    I don’t know what I would do without PETA! <3

  • Erasha says:

    Im so happy words cant explain how happy I am. God Bless you PETA.

  • nancy says:

    Melmac, your first comment, in this thread, said this only happened due to budget cuts. Your second comment said this only happened because they were bullied by PETA. You’ve only made two posts here and you already contradicted yourself.

  • Pedro says:


  • sylvia rico says:

    thanks peta, wonderful news!!! im so…so happy, nothing else matters, than life…

  • BetsyHe says:

    Please help the animals that are lost and end up in laboratories and tortured..this is so wrong..we can also help tag you own animals and microchip them and spay and neuter your pets so we can help our pets from being lost or stolen, also to keep population of pets under control! Please don’t get a pet until you investigate what that pet needs for a happy life..Thanks

  • Margarita says:

    I want to let Peta know that activists in South Fla. are having a hard time fighting against the construction of a new facilitiy that is going to destroy 700 acres of land of habitat for animals and plants, some of them endangered. This new facility is going to be used for vivisection, so we are up in arms, but fighting a strong opposition. The place is called The Scripps Institute and is in cahoots with FAU, Florida Atlantic University. We are at our wits ends trying to find a way to defeat this plan. Any help would be appreciated.

  • Ferdinand Freinthaler says:

    man möge doch bitte mal verbrecher zu solchen experimenten benutzen und nicht arm unschuldige tiere

  • Enisei says:

    Or would at least Russian website

  • Enisei says:

    It would be good for the Russian animal if Peta has worked intensively in Russia. Write through Google translator.

  • pippagirl says:

    Thank God and PETA for this wonderful victory for these defenseless animals. I have said a million times and I will continue to say, my animals have brought more joy and comfort to my life than I could have ever expected. People who allow harm or cause harm to an animal, can’t possibly have a soul. I still have resentment and anger at NUVAS, and I hope they have to close their door. If they would allow the harm they caused to many animals by selling them to the University, then they are capable of harming them in other ways.

  • patricia says:


  • Sheila says:

    You are MEAN people. “Exploiting animals for profit” Looser – why not getting a second job? Is not the animals fault that the economy is so bad. Again get a second job or exploit your own children for that matter.

  • raquel says:

    I am happy to hear this wonderful news.