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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!

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  • neva vogel says:

    As an American I am ashamed that we being the teachers and leaders of the free world would allow any animal shelter to engage in the selling of homeless animals for experimentation in this modern age of medicine and technolodge. It is a crime that should be punishable by the laws of our country. We hope that the North Utah Valley Animal Shelter will stop this unecessary and inhuman practice and set a wonderful example for the world to see. Thank you for your consideration to stop the unecessary and inhuman practice on the part of helpless and homeless animal

  • Blank says:

    This is great news. It shatters my heart to think of what they went trough.

  • rita uljee says:

    sometimes a feel ashamed to belong to the human -society who do learn to do thing like this to help people later in live i feel ashamed to belong to the so called humans. who can teach this to anyone?

  • Shar F. says:

    Per story on public radio–a herd of beef cattle were moved frm MT to southern Russia, in attempt to boost meat production in that country. Would someone please try to ascertain if the beef cattle are being treated humanely. Thank you.

  • Louu Ann Giunta says:

    This of course is very good news. Thank God for PETA. I am so glad to support this great organization who works hard to give animals a voice. PETA helps win the rights they need and bring shame to those who abuse these wonderful innocent creatures. Keep up fight, we’re with you.

  • jeee says:

    jeiiiii Peta thank you so much. You save the world from cruelty. Thank you, thank you 🙂

  • Anita says:

    Sheena, what a beautiful dog :o)

  • Caringforlivingcreatures says:

    I’m so glad to read happy ending like NUVAS, but there’s so much we/PETA must keep going. GO PETA!!

  • Denise says:

    It´s really a great news!!! I´m so glad today

  • Yvonne Fast says:

    Thanks PETA for all the good work you do. That this is happening is hard to believe. First the animals are rescued and then they end up in an even worser place. How can anybody support such cruel fate? It’s outrageous!

  • Renata Bartoli says:

    Wonderful news. Well done.

  • Amit Mangutkar says:

    Thank you very much PETA.

  • Pat says:

    I am so sick in my stomach on a daily basis with what I read about the abuse and disregard for animals domestic and wild. PETA keep up the good work and you will always have my support.

  • Thanh Ly (Tom) says:

    One man can do little, but we (the people who care and love animals) together can make changes, and until one day, every animals can live and enjoy life as we do. And that day, paradise in on Earth! Friends, keep our love on and thank you!

  • Fld says:

    It’s one of many victories to come …. I hope I live long enough to see the day this abuse is no longer heard of … Because it would never ever happen..


    This is an awesome victory. I am sharing this celebration and am so grateful for all that everyone did to accomplish this with all the animal lovers and concerned people around the world. Yay!!! Keep up the good work, everyone. See WE make a difference!!!

  • ana ruivo says:

    Thank you PETA for bring hope and joy to the animals and people!!!! Keep up the good work and pray for more world peace. May the Force be with You! I said: thank you, thank you PETA for the great victory you made for de innocents animals!!!

  • Tee Tee says:

    THIS is why I am a proud member of PETA – positive energy with positive results – awesome!!

  • anushascott says:

    Believe in possibilities…its limitless. Well done friends of earth…keep up the good work and pray for more world peace. May the Force be with You!

  • Chris B says:


  • Barbara Mieirs says:

    This is an awesome victory. I am sharing this celebration and am so grateful for all that everyone did to accomplish this with all the animal lovers and concerned people around the world. Yay!!! Keep up the good work, everyone. See WE make a difference!!!

  • georgette says:

    EXCELLENT PETA!!! I am a student taking human anatomy and physiology(a class I have to take and was told there would be NO dissection of any kind…I asked before registering for the class)in an upcoming lab I have to dissect a cat.I am sickened,not only am I an animal lover/advocate I belong to 2 cats.I do not believe in cutting up animals for any reason.Is there anything I can do to not participate in such a barbaric act.Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

  • Patricia says:

    THANK YOU PETA! I’m so happy to hear that all the other dogs and cats in Utah will not be treated like a piece of garbage. I wish all the other states will show their compassion and stop betraying our innocent friends!

  • Linda says:

    This is wonderful news….but also reminds us there is still much work to be done to end this barbaric and unjustifiable use of God’s innocent creatures! My heart was just broken of hearing of poor little Robert, Chloe, Rufus and Chance….whatever happened to them???? Keeping them ALL in my prayers as I will continue to support your invaluable work….PETA rocks!!

  • Doris says:

    Animals are the best people in the world!!!!! We’re making headway all you animal lovers!!! And to those who continue to mutilate God’s helpless creatures who can’t speak up and defend themselves…AND HAVE NO RIGHTS…BEWARE!!!!!!! GOD IS WATCHING AND JUDGING AND DECIDING WHO WILL PAY HIS ETERNAL AND UNWAIVERING, RIGHTEOUS, AND INDESCRIBABLE WRATH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ANIMALS ARE NOT OUR PROPERTY…THEY ARE GOD’S AND HE IS ALWAYS WATCHING.

  • dwadsworth says:

    I wish that I could go there and swap out these experiments!!! The humans should be put in the place of these wonderful animals!!! Make sure we are REMINDED, NOT TO USE ANY OF THESE PHYSICANS, SURGE0NS AND TECH’S when they get out in the real world. These is no place in our world for this behavior–GO PETA SO!!

  • madchristine21 says:

    The cat Robert really touched my heart I was wondering what ended up happening to him, can someone please let me know if he’s ok??

  • Mary says:

    Yhankyou PETA, that’s why I believe in supporting your’ work..X

  • Brenda says:

    This is GREAT NEWS.What is wrong with some people, don’t they know “Pets are people.”

  • Alex says:

    Mandy, I’m totally with you on that! I can’t even comprehend how people can knowlingly harm and torture these animals and still sleep at night. Just because animals don’t have the same mind capabilities as we humans, such as those that form language and create solutions to better our lifestyles, doesn’t mean they should be exposed to torturous treatment and that we should get to decide whether they live or die. Who gave us the right to dominate them anyway? Many people will argue that medical research with animals can generate cures for diseases that people previously had to suffer or die from; yes, cures for us humans at the expense of other living things – so in my eyes, that’s not right either! I hope PITA continues to stomp on organizations and universities that allow this experimentation to go on!

  • suzan says:

    mega thanks to PETA and all who expressed their thoughts on this sick & ignorant policy the employees and all who supported this should be held accountable.hope they ROT!!!!!!!!

  • Mad says:

    When are they coming to Ohio to stop this! Hope soon

  • Annie Bernard says:

    Immense grand MERCI a PETA pour cette nouvelle action reussie ,ce sont des nouvelles qui nous rendent heureux et on aimerait tant que les humains qui ont l intelligence, la conscience, la raison d ou des QUALITES qui devraient les EMPECHER d agir comme des BARBARES ….nous n avons pas encore compris en 2011 que l animal a son existence aussi precieuse que celle de l homme , nous n avons pas encore eu le declic de comprendre que c est a l homme qu’appartient le devoir, l ethique, la valeur et la morale pour comprendre, proteger et securiser ceux qui sont de partager notre planete et donnent un sens a nos vies et nous permettent d’exister …l homme subi la tentation de repondre a ses bas instincts, pour la gloire et l argent ils est capables de tant de sauvageries et sans scrupules de sacrifier , torturer des animaux pour obtenir ses produits de sante et de beaute et toujours plus performants pour s embellir , peter la forme et vivre le mieux possible, aussi coute que coute se sont des actes des plus odieux de la maltraitance immonde de la recherche …..mais la souffrance de ces animaux ne peut que nous porter prejudice sur la qualite de notre comportement et c est pourquoi les hommes sont de plus en plus enrages et capables du pire meme envers ses congeneres …la nature se venge , et c est pourquoi subissons des catastrophes de toutes sortes ,en se conduisant de la sorte on ne peut que subir les foudres de leur createur , nous devrions venerer tous les animaux parce que chaque espece est d apporter a l homme leur capacite a l’aider ,ils se trouvent aux cotes de l homme dans tous les travaux, dans ses handicaps, les animaux de ferme nourrissent l homme et l habillent, aussi devrions les VENERER et etre RECONNAISSANT envers ses etres depourvu de tous peches et immacules et que nous savons si bien remercier en les faisant tant souffrir….en les considerant comme de la matiere premiere pour certains et les autres , animaux de ferme, animaux sauvages sont notre reserve de nourriture , notre cuir, notre fourrure pour nous parer sur des douleurs inconcevables , abnegation de tout entendement. Il appartient a l homme de tous bords quels qu’ils soient d elever la voix contre des tragedies inacceptables sur des temps revolus ou l homme ne doit pas se defiler devant ses devoirs , la citoyennete ne va pas de soi et celui qui a la chance d y acceder a des devoirs a assumer. LES ANIMAUX ne doivent pas servir pour fabriquer nos medicaments ILS SONT NOS MEDICAMENT DE NOS AMES ET D AUTANT PLUS DE CEUX QUI SONT REPOUSSER PAR L HUMAIN.

  • Nazneen says:

    Excellent work by Peta!! All supporters of Peta please keep supporting Peta’s good cause and help the voiceless animals.

  • leonela says:

    good news! very happy to hear that!

  • max clayton says:

    god that makes my blood boil when people also known as “its” torture animals just for research thats not gonna help for what they want!! they are so lucky im not there, errrrrr maybe we should try it on the “its” that torture the animals in the first place see if it gets better info. probably not because you have to have in intellegant life to have results!!!!!!

  • Teresa Troy says:

    I am so glad for all of the wonderful, caring people, at PETA. Experimentation on animals makes me violently ill, it is a sick practice. We need to stand together, and help to keep these beautiful creatures, safe from harm. Thanks so much for your help in saving our furry friends.

  • Larissa says:

    Congrats, PETA! Once again!!! Congrats to everyone who made this happen! And thanks to the U for listening to it Today is a happy day!

  • humbertobolaños says:

    ¡Felicitaciones por su labor en defensa de nuestros semejantes que llamamos animales,que conparándolos con la especie humana a veces me averguenzo de pertenecer a ella.Pues si un predador mata solo lo hace para comer,y no por placer como lo hacemos nosotros.Bueno lo que deseo saber es como haría nuestra especie para no consumir animales pues gracias a esto somos lo que somos pues las proteinas que nos proporcionan,nos han permitido que nuestro cerebro crezca. Gracias por la atención que merezca la presente,y espero una respuesta. Atte:humberto

  • paulyyy says:

    Well done PETA. it’s horrific to think that some University’s are doing these cruel experiments shame on them!

  • Carol says:

    I am beyond happy that this horrible act will stop there is no reason for this at all to think they think it is OK to do makes me completely ill. I just wish that Bascom Eye Institute would stop what they do to innocent cats that they have but only difference they breed their own cats to do their experiments and they were very proud to show me what they do on the very day they hired me and did everything to get fired because I just couldn’t handle what they were doing to baby kittens. What they do is sew the eyes of baby kitten closed to see what happens to their eyes as though they don’t know and this should be stopped TODAY and that is a fact.

  • Margaret says:

    I am disgusted with the true ignorance and blatant torture of living creatures. Humans have absolutely no right to torture or take a life of a creature that can not defend itself or to use it for the betterment of so called mankind, what an oxyMoron! Why don’t they use the bastards on death row, why not attach thing to them and here them scream for science. Thank you PETA for working so hard for the angels on earth and for restoring a little of my faith in humanity.

  • K.G.Stikkelorum says:

    Oh het is echt geweldig om te horen! Dank u PETA .. Nu im gevoel me trots om een ​​deel van het .. Ik hou van uuuuuu

  • chander kumar soni says:


  • Deborah Myers says:

    Great news, our Old English Sheepdog lost his struggle with lymphoma. One of the medications he used to stop the nausea contained a booklet from Phiser that listedmthe outcome of this drug on Beagles. I thought about how much pain along with profit motivecontributed to prolonging my best friends life and couldn’t imagine our sheepdog with his pack mentality putting his needs before the needs of these beagles. He passed away two nights ago and I hope these poor Beagles are some comfort to him in doggy heaven.

  • Elizabeth says:

    Thanks to the University for listening, and thanks to PETA for making it known. It’s always helpful to stress that it’s economically better to use robotic or artificial animals (Kindness doesn’t always get ’em, but the pocketbook does!).

  • Dot Lohnes says:

    Congratulations Pita Its so hard to belive people can be so cruel

  • Margaret says:

    Parabéns pela PETA, por essa grandiosa vitória !!!!!!!

  • mandy says:

    I am outraged that this is still going on. When you know better, you do better! We, humans, know better. We know that animals are exactly like us, they want security, food, shelter and they have emotions and experience pain and fear, just like us- how these experiments could go on is horrifying and makes my skin crawl!!!!! It’s about time we get serious about nature, and protecting it, NOT dominating everything into submission for our own egos and greed!

  • Rachel D says:

    I couldn’t be more happy to hear the news! animals 1 the U 0!!!