Nearly two million companion animals are stolen each year. Many of these animals are sold to research laboratories, dog-fighting rings or puppy mills, where they are abused and often killed.
Many of these pets find their way to research laboratories through USDA licensed Class “B” animal dealers. For a $10 fee, anyone can apply for a USDA Class “B” dealer license.
Class “B” dealers obtain animals from state, county or city owned and operated animal pounds or shelter, (this is called pound seizure), other USDA licensed “B” dealers and various random sources. However, “B” dealers also obtain animals from “bunchers."
Bunchers fraudulently obtain animals through “free to good home” ads, preying on unsuspecting people who can no longer care for their companions. They make promises of a good home and tender care, only to turn around and sell the animals, sometimes the same day, to Class “B” dealers. In attempts to gather as many animals as possible for sale to research institutions, bunchers also frequently steal family pets directly from their owners.
Laws Don’t Protect Our Companion Animals
Currently, the only piece of legislation standing between family pets and the unscrupulous “B” dealers who sell them to be tortured in research facilities is the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). Enacted in 1966, the AWA requires that minimum standards of care and treatment be provided for most warm-blooded animals bred for commercial sale, used in research, transported commercially or exhibited to the public. Unfortunately, the enforcement of the AWA is completely inadequate and millions of family pets have ended up in research facilities as a result.
Class “B” dealers have been shown to regularly and willingly do everything in their power to ensure family pets are sold to be tortured in research laboratories. The monetary incentives associated with selling lost and stolen family pets motivate “B” dealers to violate countless laws. Records are falsified, evidence of ownership, such as dog tags, are purposefully destroyed and no attempt is made to reunite microchipped animals with their families. Instead, these companion animals are kept in often squalid conditions before being sold for use in experimentation.But underneath his battered work clothes, “Pete” was secretly documenting the atrocities at Baird’s facilities. Using a tiny microphone and videotaping device, “Pete” acquired more than 70 hours of video surveillance. An overwhelming amount of animal cruelty, abuse, neglect, and unsanitary conditions were exposed.
The enforcement of the AWA is the responsibility of the Animal Care division of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), which is a part of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Government documents show the laws of the AWA severely lack enforcement and APHIS is unable to ensure animals are well cared for. Additionally, violators who are penalized for their infringements consider monetary penalties an accepted cost of conducting business, rather than a disincentive for violating existing laws. As a result, violations of the AWA, including the falsification of records -- the only current way to ensure that family pets do not enter the research animal trade -- continue undeterred.
9 Other Class “B” Dealers Are Still in Operation
As of 2009 there were over 1000 Class “B” Dealers. The majority of these dealers sell “random source” animals wholesale, to other brokers, pet stores and auctions. Only 9 of these “B” dealers sell their animals to research laboratories. This is a fraction of what existed decades ago but still 9 too many.
These dealers are:
32-B-0045 Mark and Penny Lynch LBL Kennels (Reelsville)
34-B-0001 Roberts and James Woudenberg R &R Research (Howard City)
34-B-0002 Fred Hodgins, Inc. Hodgins Kennels (Howell and Fowlerville)
34-B-0210 D & M Resources (Standwood)
41-B-0017 Kenneth Schroeder (Wells)
43-B-3631 Tony and Becky Schachtele Schachtele Auction Service (Keytesville And Salisbury)
31-B-0104 Robert Perry (Mt. Sterling)
23-B-0174 Floyd Martin Chestnut Grove Kennel (Shippensburg)
56-B-0109 George S. Ward Whale Branch Animal Services (Seabrook)