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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.
  • Rejane Prestes says:

    The University of Utah, announced it will buy dogs and cats left in animal shelters to be used in experiments mortal? Atrocity will continue commenting on the animals now with the excuse that they will buy? The Bestiality continues …

  • maureen rice says:

    Wonderful news——BRILLIANT

  • Emily says:

    Animals should not be treated like that. Hearing that it was happening makes me sad.

  • parvinder kaur says:

    Thumbs up

  • gayatri says:

    Oh its really great to hear it !! Thank you PETA..Now i m feeling myself proud to be a part of it..I love uuuuuu

  • Estera says:

    I want help animals!

  • Estera says:

    I want help animals!

  • Shelly says:

    Okay, PETA, let’s get Utah!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There are no options – We MUST stop them! I saw the look in that dog’s eyes. He was very smart and he knew he MUST get out of there!!!!!!—-GOD BLESS PETA!!!!!

  • carole fraser says:

    ON reading this it makes me totaly sick that animals was tortured in this way cruel and evil these people who carry out such acts are sick thank GOD FOR PETA.

  • jaya says:


  • ramachandran says:

    Congratulations PETA for this great achievement

  • malvika says:

    PETA you are doing great ……………..

  • Ruth Abbott says:

    Torturing animals in laboratories is barbaric and it must stop. Thanks to PETA for their time and compassion.

  • Leigh says:

    I am really glad about this too. But have you missed the fact that this torture has not stopped. The university is just going to get its victims from breeders.

  • Pamela. says:

    This is great news but will this stop them from getting animals from other sources?

  • Aila Ropponen says:

    Congratulations PETA! I would adopt a do or cat from USA, but the distance is too long, `cause I live in Finland. , but in the end of this month there will be new member to our family, a little dog from Romania. I`m so happy that I can give a home to a poor homeless animal…

  • Maine Chromedome says:

    The problem is they will still get animals from somewhere and the bad acts will go on with animals no one is watching out for. These animals feel the pain just as much as unfortunate pets from shelters do.

  • Adair Leonard says:

    That’s wonderful news PETA. Can we count on “the U” NOT to use any animal for research purposes ever again?

  • PAT DRAKO says:


  • Teresa Echeverría says:

    Thanks PETA and still go on…We need a law to stop that forever…

  • Samantha says:

    It is hard to believe that people would intentionally apply pain to another animal!!! I cannot express the feeling that washes over me when I hear of these kinds of horor stories…It only varifies that a great number of humans are the worst kind of animals!!!All I can say is I truely hope that what pain and suffering people like that have inflicted on other animals happens to them !!!

  • Mom to the Feral Crew (20 cats) says:

    Unfortunately for some of us in Michigan, the fight still goes on! When it all stops, then it is a great victory! As for the breeders, they need to know what these schools are doing to these babies, but I think that they know and just are calous enough to not care! How can someone breed dogs only to give or sell their babies to the universities and labs to have them abused and killed. So, I am excited that Utah is now safe for the animals, let’s work on the remaining states and get them to join the fight! We need to remember that WE are their voices, WE need to speak for them…NOW!!! Keep up the good work PETA!

  • Tawny says:

    As I’ve said before, it’s great they have stopped taking animals from the shelter but that DOES NOT mean they have stopped experimenting on dogs and cats. I email Dr. Tom Parks regularly. (Why he wants to interact with me, I have no idea. I give him endless grief.) He intends to buy dogs and cats from smarmy breeders and continue on with his sick experiments as if nothing has changed. Until they stop the experiments altogether, it really isn’t much of a victory. Sorry.

  • Blaze says:

    In Australia, Queensland, we got a No kill shelter. It refuses to kill. There are pets over 8 years old in the shelter

  • Tara says:

    Thankyou Utah University

  • Mary Gill says:

    Thank you PETA! I live in Australia at present but that doesn’t stop me caring for all animals world wide. To hear of victories against such barbaric cruelty has made me cry tears of you. Keep fighting, wherever possible, I sign every Petition, some are of course, USA residents only, those I send to friends in the States to sign.

  • j says:

    if they are going to use privet breeders it just makes it worse….breeders will have a reason to breed more , new animal born just for that purpose, while who knows how many of the shelter animal will be killed any way…..did that just make the suffering bigger?

  • AJHammer says:

    These people and the government that defends them are absolutley Santanic, I pray to God they are dealt with.

  • Julie says:

    What a shameful thing to be going on to these poor defensive animals, the people who have been doing this “their day will come” What can I say about Peta, apart from you are a HERO mate, please keep it all going.!

  • Soccermom says:

    Being from Utah, and having attended the Univ. of Utah, I was sooo happy when I heard this, but it was short lived when my mom told me the local paper reported the next day they will now use private breeders for experimentation. How do we STOP them? : (

  • Mike says:

    Next let’s push for no-kill shelters. It can be done. Then people with missing dogs or cats can at least know that if their beloved animal companions make it to a shelter, they won’t be killed.

  • Angela H. says:

    I was at the capital (MN) on Humane Lobby Day, spoke with my rep Michael Beard (R) just heard back from our facilitator that Mr. Beard has agreed to co-author the bill to remove the pound seizure law!!!! We have our republican on board to get this bill moving now!!! ONE voice can make a difference!! Speak with your reps/senators let them know how you feel!! Oklahoma is the only other state next to MN who still has this law!! Thank you PETA for all of your great work!!

  • Diane says:

    Congratulations!! This victory brings tears to my eyes and joy to my heart! PETA is great for providing the information we would not otherwise have access to so we can help these deserving little ones. Let’s finish with the remainig states!!

  • Andrea Raen says:

    It is simply the most horrific thing I’ve heard, in relation to abuse to animals. It is shameful that a person, given reasoning, would treat their counterparts that weigh so heavily on compassion, with such cruelty. I’m sooo glad PETA is putting a stop to this torture and abuse, and holding to their values, with our little friends… Now, we just have to stop all of these schools from taking these poor defenseless animals from shelters, for torture.

  • drdoolittle says:

    I’m from Minnesota, one of the two remaining states with Pound Seizure still on the books. Welcome to the 1830s. Spent the day Tuesday talking with Minn. legislators to get rid of this shameful law. Minnesota – fighting hard to be the last one to stand against cats and dogs.

  • blonde67 says:

    How wonderful a big big thank you to PETA on behalf of all those animals lives you have saved. Keep up your fantastic work. WELL DONE !!!

  • Lori says:

    Yeah Peta! Now let’s go after the others. It is only a matter of time before they all have to stop these barbaric sadastic training techniques! Peta does a fabulous job! You have my support!

  • Rosa says:

    i love you PETA! this is great to hear! thanks for what you have done!

  • Samantha says:

    Tahnks God! PETA makes me proud. I´m from Brazil and I´m sooo happy to see things like this happening.

  • Linda Hagan says:

    God Bless PETA and all who joined in this fight. May we succeed ver and over and over again!

  • Lucia says:

    YAY! I’m so happy to hear this.

  • Julie says:

    Thanks PETA well done. Keep up the great work. We need you

  • Maria grazia Prever says:

    thank you!!! I am so happy this news to, really happy, thanks of your help. maria grazia

  • Marisa Anderson says:

    Well then lets proceed on to shut down Michigan S. Carolina, Ohio, Dallas and Galvastan Peta…lets go!

  • Jane says:

    God bless PETA – a voice of caring in the loud screaming of needless suffering. Keep up your work and God bless the undercover investigators – I cannot imagine a more difficult job.

  • Jane says:

    God bless PETA – a voice of caring in the loud screaming of needless suffering. Keep up your work and God bless the undercover investigators – I cannot imagine a more difficult job.

  • carrie mcd says:


  • terri says:


  • Sonia says:

    I am so grateful knowing that there are people like you guys who do justice for animals. Thank you PETA!

  • Terri says:

    how can these people call themselves human beings. I hope you can sleep at night, hearing those poor animals barking from pain. your about as low as a snake in thegrass