If you’re like most pet owners (or, if you prefer, “pet parents”), you would do everything in your power to make sure your companion animals are healthy and well cared for. If you’re like most animal lovers, you support efforts to prevent the spread of devastating diseases that affect wildlife.

Many, perhaps even most, first-time pet owners quickly learn how many diseases and conditions—surprise!—affect our four legged friends just as they do people. Dogs can get urinary tract infections and cancer; cats can develop cataracts and hyperthyroidism. But fear not. Researchers have developed treatments for even many of the more serious and life-threatening health problems that affect pets—often using the same medications and procedures used to treat their human counterparts.

Meanwhile, scientists and conservationists are working diligently to curb the rate of infectious diseases, from sylvatic plague to Lyme disease, that would otherwise decimate populations of animals living in the wild (including many endangered species).

Each of these treatments, designed to improve the health of animals whether they live in single family homes or in the Amazon Rainforest, was developed with animal research.

Smaller living organisms like mice and rodents—along with, less commonly, cats, dogs, monkeys, and other species—allow researchers to better understand and treat health problems in human patients, their pets, and the fauna living in their backyards.

Says who?

Love Animals? Support Animal Research is a public outreach campaign funded by the Foundation for Biomedical Research (FBR). FBR is a nonprofit charity that works to promote broader understanding of how studies with animals lead to cures, vaccines, surgeries, medications, and other treatments for the deadly diseases and chronic illnesses that affect people, pets, wildlife, farm animals, and endangered species. FBR receives no government funding. It’s underwritten by individual, academic, and corporate supporters who understand the value of animal research in scientific and medical discovery.

In this campaign, FBR is joined by the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS), the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC), and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), nonprofit associations that represent, respectively, 89,000+ US-based veterinarians; 71 veterinary schools and colleges around the world; and 12,000+ individual, institutional, affiliate, and commercial members that work with laboratory animals. Together with the AALAS Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity, the organizations have partnered with FBR on this initiative because they understand animal studies are responsible for past discoveries like heartworm medications and cancer treatments, as well as future advancements that will further improve the lives of our pets.

Exciting scientific and medical breakthroughs that lie on the horizon can only be reached if the public, too, understands the work conducted in America’s research labs. With this goal in mind, FBR seeks to bring attention to the boons to veterinary medicine that have relied on studies with animals. It may sound paradoxical, but it’s true: Do you Love Animals? Support animal research.

Photo credit: Texas A & M University