Look in a Lab: The University of Washington

The Rise for Animals Team, April 24, 2023

Today is World Day for Animals in Laboratories. Today, we’re standing alongside our animal-protecting allies across the globe against the innate cruelty of animal research. 

And today, we’re exposing and targeting one of the worst offenders in the industry—the University of Washington (UW). 

These photos we’ve just uncovered from UW offer a rare glimpse at the faces of the dogs who are forced to live in research facilities and comply with the unnatural, often painful experiences of experimentation.

A UW employee holds forth a dog whose inner ear has been tattooed with an identification number.

We don’t know the names of these dogs. We don’t know exactly what they’ve been forced to endure, besides the inking of their soft inner ears and the shaving of the fur on their sides. We have only their photos, plus the knowledge of what typically happens to animals in labs: they’re stripped of their autonomy. They’re prodded and poked, used and abused. And then they’re discarded as trash rather than treated like the thinking, caring, feeling beings they are. 


These photos of dogs in UW’s research facilities were released to Rise for Animals through a public records request submitted under the Freedom of Information Act.
A dog at UW has had the fur on her side shaved down her skin, a common preparation for invasive surgery.

None of us will see any scientific benefit or medical breakthrough from the experiments done on these dogs or other animals in labs. 

Experimentation on animals is unnecessary, wasteful, old-fashioned, and cruel. 95% of new drugs tested “successfully” on animals end up failing in human trials. The vast majority of animals in labs aren’t offered even minimal protections under federal law. It’s all proof that it is beyond time to harness the power of modern research: new technologies, human-relevant methods, and better science that benefits all at the expense of none. 

At UW, according to the most recent count, at least 1,821 animals—dogs, monkeys, rabbits, and others—are being held and forced to comply with experiments. The dogs shown here are just a tiny sampling of the animals being exploited at UW at a given time. 

This World Day for Animals in Labs, please join us in honoring and remembering the millions of animals who have been needlessly, heartlessly exploited in labs.

It takes only a minute to take action online. Please act now for UW’s canine victims pictured above, and for the countless other animals who share their fate. 

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If you’re located in the state of Washington and want to get involved in grassroots campaigns against animal research at UW, visit the Northwest Animal Rights Network online.