At the first meeting of the Animal Care Panel November 28, 1950, Dr. Nathan “Nate” Brewer, who was to be president for the next five years, reported that this is how and why we started:
“This organization is the logical outcome of the realization by research laboratories that their animal colonies are becoming increasingly the responsibility of each institution, rather that of each researcher. That realization led to the appointment of someone who would be responsible for problems that would evolve with the increased responsibility of the institution.
“In Chicago, where in the space of a few years five research institutions have added veterinarians to their staffs, there was a natural inclination to get together and discuss problems of mutual interest. So much was gained by these discussions that it was decided to sound out other areas for probable interest participation. The response was favorable enough to attempt today’s meeting.
“For those of you who are impressed with the idea of this panel there will be a formal meeting after the last paper, if time permits, or after dinner at the Quadrangle Club tonight, to decide whether this panel should continue, what form it should take, who should officiate for the coming year, and perhaps other points.
“Since starting these annual meetings other organizations have set up activities that are designed to carry out functions so similar to those for which the panel was founded that last year the panel considered the proposition that it be dissolved and that these other organizations, all of them better financed, take over those functions that this panel assumed in the absence of such necessary activities.
“The proposal to discontinue the panel was rejected. Instead, there was agreement to become formalized. Since the last meeting a constitution has been adopted by your interim executive committee, and we have become incorporated as a not-for-profit institution in the State of Illinois.”
Four of the five "founding fathers" of AALAS (from left) Dr. Nathan R. Brewer, Dr. Elihu Bond, Dr. Robert J. Flynn, And Dr. Bennett J. Cohen. Not Pictured: Dr. Robert J. Schroeder.