thedude wrote:If they are being offered from a research project, they will have papers with them.
This should include the project IACUC protocol as IACUC requires protocol to explicitly state whether animals will be released to the public or "adopted" as a disposition. If it's not in the protocol, they were not legally released from the institution.
Many universities do not allow experimental animals to be released to the public at all. At my institution, I cannot release vertebrates from my lab to the public.