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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Some cities have public advocates. Others have consumer advocates. And education advocates.

But Cambridge is the only city in America that has an advocate for mice, rats and other creatures. She is Dr. Julie Medley, and her official title is Commissioner of Laboratory Animals. In an unlikely position for someone who thought her career would be devoted to treating cats and dogs in a veterinary practice, she wields considerable authority over some of the nation’s biggest pharmaceutical and biotech companies.


Day after day, Medley shows up — unannounced — at labs across this city and gently demands a tour of companies’ animal research facilities. The companies have no choice but to open their doors.

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  • I’ve worked with Sam Lipson and Julie Medley at the Camb. Public Health Department for many years. The City of Cambridge is so very lucky to have them. They are detailed dedicated professionals who certainly know their work. They strive for excellence at every turn. It was a pleasure working with them, I have lots of good memories and I wish them well in everything they do.

  • Hi,
    I am happy to see a 3rd party evaluate these companies! I feel much like Dr. Medley where I spent 10 years as a pet groomer & am now messaging the need for animals in research. The only way I know I can support it is by high standards of care & ethical treatment for the animals and knowing that people who violate those ethics will be accountable.

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