#Givethemback In USA Today! WCW Op-Ed Says Biden Should Sign Violet’s Law To Give Lab Survivors A 2nd Chance

Posted by Arin Greenwood
07 February 2021 | Newsworthy


“The AFTER Act is the most important public policy of its kind. It would make lab animal retirement of cats, dogs, monkeys and other federally regulated animals standard across the whole federal government.”

We are over the moon thrilled to share our newest op-ed with you. (Or pup-ed, if you will.)

President Joe Biden can give more dogs like Major a second chance,” written by yours truly, was published first in Delaware Online, President Biden’s hometown paper!, and has since been picked up by (at last count) a few dozen other newspapers in the USA Today Network and Yahoo News.

OH YEAH AND IT’S IN USA TODAY. Like, the actual USA Today!


The piece argues for why President Biden should sign the AFTER Act—which we call Violet’s Law after a dog rescued by WCW from a taxpayer-funded lab—and make WCW’s “give them back” campaign the law of the land.

Here’s a snippet:

“The very first First Dog to be adopted from a shelter just moved into the Biden White House.

Major Biden’s remarkable journey from a Delaware animal shelter to the White House perfectly shows how an animal’s life is transformed when they get a second chance.

President Joe Biden has been leading the charge to give mistreated animals a better life for decades. As a Senator, he helped get the ball rolling on the retirement of animals from taxpayer-funded labs, including cosponsoring legislation back in 1986 to move abused monkeys from a National Institutes of Health-funded lab in Maryland to a sanctuary.

Biden now has the opportunity to do the same for thousands of dogs, cats, rabbits, monkeys, and other animals experimented on every year in government labs by signing the bipartisan Animal Freedom from Testing, Experiments, and Research Act — the AFTER Act — into law. Delaware made lab animal retirement the law back in 2018, and passing the AFTER Act would extend this homegrown idea across the federal government.”

The AFTER Act is also called Violet’s Law, after a dog rescued by WCW from a taxpayer-funded lab. Violet is seen here with two cats, Petite and Delilah, who WCW rescued from the USDA’s notorious “Kitten Slaughterhouse” lab. WCW freed 14 cat survivors from this lab, when we got it shut down.


“Give them back” is one of WCW’s most important (impawtant, even) campaigns. Animals who survive government labs should be retired into homes or sanctuaries, not killed.

Taxpayers paid for these animals, and we should get a say in their fates. The government should #givethemback!

26 squirrel monkeys who were retired to a Florida primate sanctuary instead of being killed when WCW—with the broad coalition support of Dr. Jane Goodall and Students for a Sensible Drug Policy, among others—got the FDA’s $5.5 million nicotine addiction experiments they’d been used in shut down. The move marked the first time in history that the FDA retired monkeys to a sanctuary, instead of killing them.


Thanks to our #givethemback efforts, we’ve had some major progress (pawgress…help we can’t stop) on that front, celebrating our most recent victory just a couple of weeks ago—when after pressure from WCW and our 3 million members, the Environmental Protection Agency announced it would retire rabbits who survive the agency’s experiments.

We’ve also secured the first-ever agency wide commitments to retire and release lab survivors:

But, as we write in the op-ed: “The piecemeal agency policies and individual animals’ retirements are a good start, but do not go far enough. At least a dozen federal agencies experiment on animals, and most don’t yet have policies in place allowing them to be retired when testing ends.”

We’ve been working with influential members of Congress from both sides of the aisle to pass the AFTER Act (and you don’t need us to tell you how rare and important this sort of aisle-crossing is, in these highly partisan times).

You want to talk bipawtisanship: Last session a House version of the AFTER Act was introduced by Reps. Brendan Boyle (D-PA) and Jackie Walorski (R-IN), with 75 Democrat and Republican cosponsors.

In the Senate, the bill was introduced by Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Gary Peters (D-MI), and cosponsored by Delaware Sens. Chris Coons (D-DE) and Tom Carper (D-DE) among others.

Our Waste Warriors in Congress are set to reintroduce the bill early in this term.

The legislation is also stunningly popular (pup-ular?) with taxpayers, too. 71 percent of Democrats and 72 percent of Republicans recently told pollster Lincoln Park Strategies they want retirement, not death, for animals who survive experiments in government labs.

And of course they do.

“We even have the perfect example in First Dog Major Biden of how good it is, for an animal to get a second chance. Biden should extend this same opportunity to all dogs and other survivors of government labs,” we write.

“‘Give them back’ to the taxpayers who paid for them, and now want to provide them loving homes.”

You can check out the whole op-ed (PUP-ED) here.

And please take a moment to urge your Congress members to cosponsor Violet’s Law to provide a second chance to animals abused in wasteful government experiments!

Blog Comments

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