Unique service rehomes lab rats used for research

Patrina Carter and Paula Wallace with Pepper and Mint. Photo: Melinda Jane.
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A special rehoming service is opening its doors for people who have always wanted to rescue a laboratory animal that has been used for research.

Liberty Foundation is Australia’s first service solely dedicated to rehoming animals from science and research, with some already in Penrith.

Ahead of World Laboratory Animal Week (April 19-24), Liberty Foundation Founder, Paula Wallace said she wants to let the public know about the work the organisation does.

“We started in 2017 and since building the charity up we have formed partnerships with research establishments which has helped us rehome 350 animals so far including rats, mice, guinea pigs, rabbits, fish, dogs and cats,” Ms Wallace said.

“We think it is a good time to let everyone know that we are here and to take a moment to remember that there are many animals in laboratories.”

Working with the research facilities to ensure a good quality of life, Ms Wallace said the animals make great pets and companions.

“It is safe to say that most of these animals would have been euthanised but we have had the support of some very proactive research establishments that have come on board to try something new and to provide more sustainable outcomes for the animals in their care,” Ms Wallace said.

“We then find people who are passionate about providing for animals and they really do make wonderful pets that are usually very affectionate and enjoy human company.”

Cambridge Gardens resident and animal lover, Patrina Carter has adopted two male albino rats from the group named Pepper and Mint.

“I had rats when I was younger then got more as pets later on but when I saw the boys on the Liberty Foundation Facebook page, I knew I could give them the home that they needed,” Ms Carter said.

“I fell in love with them pretty quickly, their personalities are both so different, but they are clever, clean despite what people think and interesting to watch.”

Ms Wallace said they will be having more animals up for adoption so are looking for expressions of interests from locals.

“People can keep up to date on our social media pages for animals and can also go our website to join as a member,” she said.

Visit www.libertyfoundation.org.au.

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