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Frequently Asked Questions

Ordering Animals



How do I order animals?
Complete the LAR Animal Request Form and submit to the LAR administrative office at Please consult the Instructions for the Animal Request Form and also check related FAQ information under Getting Started.

Does LAR have to order my animals?
No, although we encourage PIs to take advantage of this service. If PIs wish to make their own arrangements for animal ordering, they must still complete an Animal Request form and await approval for housing space. It is also important that LAR be apprised of the specific shipping arrangements.

What's quarantine? Are all new animals quarantined?
Quarantine refers to the process for the secure holding of newly arrived animals until their health status can be assured; this helps ensure an appropriate research model as well as the health of other colony animals. Most new animals are quarantined, although the specific arrangements differ based on the facility where animals will be housed, the species and source of animals. In general, animals are not available for use during quarantine. Details of quarantine will be posted on the LAR web site (under construction), but research staff are encouraged to contact the LAR Assistant Director for more information. The process process for quarantine of non-commercial rodents is here.

What's acclimation? Must all new animals be acclimated?
Acclimation refers to the process/period during which newly arrived research animals are allowed to fully recover from shipping and adjust to new conditions in LAR facilities. It is recommended that all newly arrived animals be given at least 72 hours, and preferably a week, to adjust before being used.

What's conditioning?
Conditioning refers to the combination of time, processes, and treatments that may be necessary during a quarantine period to ensure that newly arrived animals are suitable research subjects. Comprehensive conditioning protocols may be needed for animals whose health history is unknown (i.e., random-source animals), but the CVM currently uses few of these animals.

How far in advance do I have to order animals?
A minimum of two (2) business days must be given for ordering animals to assist in timely preparation and delivery. Animal orders that exceed $5000 must go through University Purchasing for approval; a minimum of 4 weeks notice should be given to assist in timely delivery. Lead time for animal orders also will depend on the need for new vendor approval (below), quarantine, conditioning and/or acclimation (above); contact the LAR Assistant Director for help in estimating this time. Lead time will also depend on animal availability from the vendor, and may be prolonged for some species/strains; contact the LAR office for help in estimating this time.

Why do I have to provide Emergency Contact Information when I order animals?
LAR staff want to provide optimal service to PIs; to do so, we need to know who the appropriate contact people are and how to get in touch with them. This is especially important if a research animal has an unexpected illness or injury requiring veterinary attention. LAR veterinary staff handle such situations, but always prefer to consult with the research team before initiating treatment.

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I want to order animals from a new vendor. How do I get them approved?
An LAR Animal Request Form initiates this process. If the new vendor is not an already “approved vendor,” health history information may be requested from the investigator or the vendor. These vendors are evaluated for the quality and pathogen status of the animals by the LAR Assistant Director (AD), in order to protect existing LAR animals from infectious disease and ensure a suitable research model. Once the shipment is approved, the investigator will be notified. Please note that “approved vendor” status is for a limited period of time, and vendor health reports are reviewed periodically. Also, depending on animal species and health history, each shipment may require approval in some cases. Contact the AD for more information.


How do I arrange to receive animals from another institution?
This process is initiated by an LAR Animal Request Form. The procedures outlined for obtaining animals from a new vendor apply when the vendor is an outside institution. For more details regarding rodent procurement from facilities outside of LAR, please refer to the “LAR Policy on Obtaining Rodents from Noncommercial Vendors.”

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Is there a cost involved with obtaining rodents from non-commercial facilities?
At the CVM, the investigator is responsible for the costs incurred during the quarantine including, but not limited to, the costs of the sentinel program, personal protective equipment, and per diems for sentinels and research animals. Costs could be more depending upon test results, the need for more testing, timing of communication from the diagnostic lab, and any unanticipated events in the quarantine room.

Who checks my animals to ensure the order has been filled correctly and animals are healthy?
The Unit Supervisor is responsible for checking that all animal orders agree with the animal requisition. If there is a discrepancy, the US contacts the research group and LAR Office, and also contacts LAR veterinary services if there is a health concern. The LAR office coordinates arrangements with the vendor.

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What are LAR "stock" animals and who can use them?
LAR maintains a stock of dogs for use in non-invasive teaching and research projects. Anyone with an approved IACUC protocol may request use of these animals, subject to availability and consistent with the LAR Animal Rental Policy.
Costs to the PI are the one-time “rental” fee plus per diem charges until the dog is returned to LAR.

Can I have my own animal room? For small animals, can I have my own cage rack?
In most cases, no. Even if space is available, opening up new rooms and adding racks decreases labor efficiency and adds a real cost to operations. Requests for a separate room or rack should be directed to the LAR Manager; if approved, there may be an additional charge.

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