Monday, 23 August 2010

Beagle Update

We just received word from the University of Guelph - 6 of the 10 VSTEP beagles have homes. There were two others who were set to go to homes, but things fell through. So for anyone still interested in adopting a VSTEP beagle (or two!), please e-mail us for more information.

Liz White


Lia Laskaris

That's Maggie in the pic, adjusting to her new home with her wonderful people! We've received e-mails and pictures from people who have brought their new family members home - stories to warm our hearts. THANK YOU ALL for giving these little girls a second chance at life.

Monday, 16 August 2010

VSTEP update

Thanks to so many caring and compassionate people, as of last week, 8 of the 10 VSTEP beagles were adopted and staff had six potential adopters for the remaining 2 beagles. The four cats used by VSTEP will undergo their anaesthesia this week, and after being recovered, all will go home to wonderful adoptive families.

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH for making this possible for the animals.

As I've said before, additional dogs will be available soon, so if anyone is still interested in adopting a research animal, please give the University a call. The person to call at the University's Central Animal Facility is Annette Morrison, one of the animal care technicians. She is responsible for adoptions and can tell you about the other dogs they have.

Annette Morrison
1-519-824-4120 ext: 54308

As well, two of the three beagles in a shelter waiting to enter our Project Jessie programme have been adopted. Yay!

We really cannot thank you enough, on behalf of the animals.

Lia and the AAC crew

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Congratulations to the City of Toronto!

Jacqui and I attended the official opening of the City's new spay / neuter clinic last night. How wonderful it was to see everyone's hard work for the animals paying off. The clinic is just opening its doors this month and will be available for their own adoptable animals (from their 4 Toronto Animal Services locations). A fantastic new service is the offer of free spays/neuters for feral kitties. It has been a lot of work and organization - well done everyone involved!!!

Aside from a few kinks that need to be ironed out, the clinic is well on its way to making Toronto's ferals happier, healthier kitties - yay!

Feral cat caregivers can take advantage of traps loaned out by the City to catch ferals for sterilization. All the necessary information and forms will soon be available through Toronto Animal Services' website. In the mean time, caregivers who wish to use the program will need to register the colony and take a TNR workshop (see below for details). Caregivers can contact the Toronto Animal Services clerk at 416-338-6281 for a sterilization appointment upon completion of the workshop.

With this new service and a push for more responsible pet ownership through licensing, Toronto is well on its way to becoming a model city, like Calgary.

A big 'Thank you' too to everyone who contacted us about the beagles at the University of Guelph. Adoption applications are being reviewed and interviews are being set up. The University should have no trouble finding 10 suitable homes for the girls. Additional dogs will be available soon, so if anyone is still interested in adopting a research animals, please give them a call. The person to call at the University's Central Animal Facility is Annette Morrison, one of the animal care technicians. She is responsible for adoptions and can tell you about the other dogs they have.

Annette Morrison
1-519-824-4120 ext: 54308

Alternatively, we have 4 beagles currently waiting to come into the Project Jessie program who would love to go straight into new homes.

We also have 4 cats that will be coming out of the same Guelph VSTEP program towards the end of August. If you are looking to adopt a pair of these cats, please let us know.

Tail wags,
Lia and the AAC crew


TNR and Feral Care Workshop
Toronto (East York), Saturday, August 21st

Dear Colony Caretakers,

The next in our series of workshops on TNR and feral colony care will take place in East York:
Anyone interested in feral cat care and population control is most welcome to attend.

This is the perfect time to plan your spay/neuter project and get cats ready for the season-that-shall-not-be-named.

Trap-Neuter-Return and Feral Colony Management

Date: Saturday, August 21st, 2010
Time: 10:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m
Location: East York Civic Centre, Committee Room A
850 Coxwell Avenue (Coxwell and Mortimer)

Caretakers who would like to access the new Toronto Animal Services clinic for free spays or neuters for ferals must attend a TNR workshop, and register their colony with the Toronto Feral Cat Survey

Workshops are offered monthly in different locations in the city of Toronto.

*Please note that registration for this workshop is by mail only and space is very limited*

Deborah Chalmers
Toronto Feral Cat Project

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Great News!

For Immediate Release: August 3, 2010

New International Guideline Lauded as Global Standard for Skin Irritation Testing

Toronto––After more than a decade of scientific research and lobbying by animal protection advocates, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) test guidelines programme has approved a new, internationally agreed nonanimal approach for skin irritation testing. The guideline was adopted on July 22 and it is now available for use by companies and governments worldwide.

The OECD guideline allows for the use of three artificial human skin models engineered by SkinEthic in Nic e, France, and MatTek of Ashland, USA, or other methods that meet the guideline’s specifications.

These methods in all but a few circumstances will fully replace the 1940s-era Draize rabbit skin test, which entails the application of a test chemical to the shaved, raw skin on the backs of rabbits.

These new methods, however, provide a humane—and more accurate—assessment of the potential damage a substance poses to human skin. Manufacturers use excess skin cells from surgical procedures to construct a three-dimensional skin model that closely mimics the properties of human skin. Substances are applied to the skin model to assess the potential for skin damage when used in industrial or consumer applications.

As OECD invited experts, the International Council for Animal Protection in OECD Programmes (ICAPO) provided scientific expertise that helped create the new guideline and ensure its acceptance. In addition, ICAPO members have individually lobbied for regional acceptance of in vitro skin irritation tests or provided direct financial support for the rigorous scientific trials that demonstrated the efficacy of one of the new methods.

“The science of safety testing has come a long way since the 1940s,” says Troy Seidle, who represents ICAPO member Animal Alliance of Canada. “By embracing new testing methods based on 21st century science, OECD countries are making a vital statement that the goals of animal, human health, and environmental protection are not mutually exclusive.”

The OECD produces safety-testing guidelines for its 31 member nations, which represent many of the world’s largest economies.

The new guideline is available at

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ICAPO comprises 11 animal protection organisations from North America, Europe and Asia for a combined representation of over 20 million citizens, and is dedicated to the replacement, reduction, and refinement of animals in OECD guidelines and other programs. Online at