What a fantastic year it has been for the ex-research animal rehoming movement. You can find out what we have been doing on behalf of research animals in 2020-21, in our latest Annual Update.

During 2020-21, we connected with more people than ever before from the general public, to small animal rescues and those within the research community.

The vision for Liberty Foundation is no longer just a vision, together we are making rehoming more commonplace for research establishments in Australia. This of course means that more animals will have the opportunity to establish a different life after their time in research.

That is, and will remain, our primary aim: to facilitate the release of animals from research establishments and to provide them with suitable, safe and loving homes.

We are pleased to report that up until 30 June 2021, we had successfully rehomed more than 360 animals from research establishments in Australia since the start of rehoming in 2017. This includes 112 animals during 2020-21. To date, we have found loving, forever homes for rats, mice, guinea pigs, rabbits, dogs, cats and fish.

After upgrading our presence online last year we have continued to attract more supporters, donors and members, as well as foster carers and adopters.

Of course, we continue our outreach work with research establishments and potential sources of funding to enable us to reach more animals. The sad reality is that many thousands of animals that could be rehomed are still being euthanised.

I encourage you all to watch just one of our videos, to help put a face to the work that we do each day with these extraordinary animals. They really are quite different than any pets you may have known.

For example, our cats are remarkable for their affectionate and interactive personalities, they really do love the one-on-one attention they receive as someone’s cherished companion.

We were very fortunate during 2020- 21 to receive our first cats for rehoming and it has been such a pleasure to get to know them all. During the period we also started rehoming a cohort of dogs and rabbits from two new research facility partners and we are thrilled with their progress.

We are also in discussions with research establishments in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland and we are certain that we will be able to work with them in the near future.

The highlight of 2020-21 must be our official launch and public-facing campaign that attracted mainstream and regional media attention and helped amplify our message and attract new supporters.

We were also able to implement a new fundraising and database system that will support our work into the future.

In late 2020, we were honoured to take out the Outstanding New Rescue Group category at the Companion Animal Awards – a real thrill!

While COVID has slowed down some activity during the last year, we have continued to consistently rehome animals, taking the necessary precautions and with some help from our research facility partners.

The release of the first rehoming guidelines from the New South Wales government, in December 2020, we believe is creating greater interest and support for rehoming within the research community.

This document is not only a first for NSW but we believe is one of the most comprehensive guidelines of its type in the world.

The release of this important document, the lifting of COVID restrictions, along with greater understanding and awareness of rehoming for ex-research animals, we believe will lead to greater numbers of animals being available for rehoming over the year to come.

On behalf of myself and fellow directors I’d like to thank all our foster carers, adopters and supporters. We couldn’t do this work without you.

Paula Wallace

Director and founder

You can access our 2020-21 Annual Update here.