The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

Got a tip? Have something you need to tell us? Contact the Sundial

Loading Recent Classifieds...

Psychology lab closes, animals find homes

The closing of the psychology department’s on-campus animal lab has driven CSUN to contribute hundreds of animals to the New Life Animal Sanctuary.

In November 2007, Paul Skolnick, the chair of the psychology department, informed the faculty that they would be converting the psychology animal facilities into human subjects research cubicles, said Donna F. Hardy, professor of psychology at CSUN.

At the semi-annual meeting of the university’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), the official closing of the psychology department’s vivarium was announced.

?More than?250 animals in the lab, including about 150 mice – some have not yet been counted – four guinea pigs, 20 rats and about 60 hamsters were used for observational studies. Because the animals were state property, they were not eligible for adoption.

Scott Perez, director of research and sponsored projects at CSUN, and other faculty members, said euthanizing the animals was an alternative to which nobody wanted to resort.

Hardy said,?”I am too ethically imposed to euthanize a perfectly healthy animal.

“We had lots of precious little creatures and euthanizing them was not an option,” Hardy said.

With the help of her students, Hardy was able to contact the New Life Animal Sanctuary in May 2008, and they were more than happy to adopt the animals from CSUN.

“The New Life Animal Sanctuary’s purpose is to give a new life to animals who were previously used in experiments,” said Gina Lynn, co-founder of New Life. “We give them a better life where they could just be themselves and not be experimented on.”

Lynn said she received an e-mail message from one of Hardy’s students informing her of the lab’s closing. The New Life Animal Sanctuary was founded in February 2008, and although their doors were not officially opened for business, they still wanted to take the animals.

Perez said the IACUC has protocols on file for every animal that states what the animal will be used for and what will be done with them once the experiments are done.

Since the animals were state property Lynn had to follow these state protocols and go through a three-week process that would release CSUN’s liability and give the New Life Animal Sanctuary ownership of the animals.??

“There was red tape involved because they were the state’s property and we had to jump through the proper hoops to get the animals,” said Lynn.

Hardy met with Lynn when the animals were being transferred.

“Donna seems to be a very caring and compassionate person,” said Lynn. “She choked us up. Most often people who use animals in research don’t take care of them and that wasn’t the case with her.”

Lynn, along with several of her employees, spent four hours transporting all of the animals off of the CSUN campus to various locations including Redondo Beach.

“A lot of them have already gotten new homes,” said Lynn. “All of the animals that are not yet adopted are being fostered amongst some of our board members.”

New Life Animal Sanctuary is looking for a five-acre parcel of land in Acton, Calif., so that they can expand their services.

??”It’ll be a place where animals can live out there lives and be as happy as possible in huge homes,” said Lynn. “Some will be permanent residents and some will be adopted out.”


More to Discover