One of my first comics, Laika was included in Toastycats #1. I thought I'd post it here too:
Laika, the little dog who was launched into orbit as part of the Soviet space programme, was only the first of many different animals to be put through this kind of experiment. Some have survived, many haven't. Laika died of stress and overheating a few hours in, but her vessel, Sputnik 2, was never meant to return to Earth anyway. Of course, most scientific research involving animals is less dramatic and less famous than this. Millions of animals, from fish to chimpanzees are used as test subjects every year. In this story, Laika stands as a symbol for the horrific things people do to animals in the name of science.
Might be worth checking out BUAV, one of the major organizations campaigning for alternatives to vivisection: http://www.buav.org/home