At the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Dr. Richard Hein has been helping his lab rats find forever and safe homes after his first and second-year students complete their introduction to anatomy courses.
Many of the students actually form bonds with their rats as they are learning throughout the courses how things like exercise, music, and temperature affect the anatomy of the animals. Hein said,”That’s actually one of the things that I really think is a great outcome of using research animals, the students that normally wouldn’t get exposure to care for animals really take on that responsibility.”
As a matter of fact, Hein said that more than half of the students in his class wind up adopting their rats every year. He also added how the rats are highly intelligent and intuitive of human emotions.
Ethical codes for use of rats and mice in laboratory experiments for the sake of science normally call for the animals to be treated humanely, but not for their adoption post-study.
“I think people in general really do care for animals and appreciate the fact that they do get adopted out,” Hein said.