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City Votes To Stop Sending Strays For Research Experiments

June 11, 1986

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) _ The City Council has voted to stop donating cats and dogs from its pound to the University of Florida, where two proposed experiments this year outraged animal lovers.

The measure was approved Tuesday night by a 14-5 vote and makes permanent a temporary ban imposed by Mayor Jake Godbold, who suspended shipment of pound animals earlier this year.

″I’m just so excited. I can’t even tell you how happy I am,″ said a weeping Marjorie Angelo, the head of Balance Inc., a city group that had lobbied to keep pound animals from being sent to the university in Gainesville.

University of Florida officials were unhappy with the vote.

″Oh, I’m upset,″ said UF Vice President Al Alsobrook. ″Of course it’s a black eye for us. When a person in the audience comes up to us and says, ‘You sadistic pig, you got what you deserve,’ of course it hurts. We’re not sadistic.″

A controversy over the use of strays in research erupted this year when a researcher proposed suspending cats from their legs to test the effects of space flight on bones and another proposed the near-drowning of dogs to test methods of saving drowning victims.

Council member Sylvia Thibault said she proposed the bill after intense lobbying from animal rights’ groups. ″The more I listened and the more I looked into the faces of those people, I knew it was coming from their hearts,″ she said.

Alsobrook said the decision went against people’s desires for improved medical science.

″They want good health and they want good research and they want a cure for cancer but they don’t want pound animals from Jacksonville used,″ he said.

Clay County is still donating its pound animals to the university for research.

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