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The Pet Safety and Protection Act

Click here to email your Congressmember and urge their support of the Pet Safety and Protection Act 

The Pet Safety and Protection Act, H.R.3187, (PSPA) is federal legislation that will protect companion animals from being stolen and sold for research experiments.  The PSPA was reintroduced into Congress by U.S. Representatives Mike Doyle (D-PA-14) and Chris Smith (R-NJ-4) on 5/13/2021. 

LCA first started investigating pet theft and the sale of stolen animals to research in 1988.  The PSPA will put an end to the USDA licensed Class B dealers that are behind the pipeline of stolen dogs to research. 

Class B Dealers are USDA licensed to sell "random-source" dogs and cats to laboratories for scientific research; however, many of these animals are stolen companion animals or strays. LCA has proven through multiple undercover investigations that Class B dealers obtain dogs and cats through various methods, including pet theft, and offering a good home to unsuspecting people who place "free to good home" ads in local newspapers. B dealers and their middleman cohorts, called bunchers, acquire dogs and cats and sell them for profit to research facilities. LCA has routinely documented that animals in the care of Class B dealers suffer under horrendous conditions. 

 

What is a Class B Dealer?

Class B dealers are licensed by the USDA to sell cats and dogs to research facilities. However, they routinely violate the Animal Welfare Act by acquiring dogs and cats through fraudulent sources and abusing them once they are in their care. LCA's undercover investigation documenting this abuse is the subject of HBO's documentary, Dealing Dogs. It is virtually impossible to know the true history of dogs and cats acquired by Class B dealers. Each time a Class B dealer sells a dog or cat to a research lab, a strong possibility exists they are a lost or stolen family pet.

 

What are Bunchers?

Bunchers are people who sell random-source dogs and cats to Class B dealers. Bunchers frequently obtain dogs and cats through dishonest methods. LCA has documented Bunchers stealing companion animals and reselling them to Class B dealers. They also acquire animals from well deserving people by fraudently answering "free to good home ads." 

 

The Problem

Animal research facilities who obtain cats and dogs from Class B dealers have no way of knowing if random-sourced dogs and cats were stolen or came from other unscrupulous methods.

Investigations by LCA into Class B dealers have revealed dogs and cats living in horrendous conditions and severe animal neglect. Dogs who are sick or injured are denied proper veterinary care; packed into overcrowded kennels where fighting can occur; and have limited access to food and water. They are left to all weather extremes and sometimes die from exposure.

The USDA has stated they can't guarantee dogs and cats used in research experiments are legally acquired and they spend countless taxpayer dollars each year unsuccessfully trying to regulate Class “B” dealers.

 

The Solution: Passing the Pet Safety and Protection Act

The Pet Safety and Protection Act would prohibit Class B dealers from selling random-sourced dogs and cats to research facilities.

 

The History of the Pet Safety and Protection Act

The PSPA has been introduced into Congress several times and failed to pass into law. However, for the past 10 years, language has been included annually in the Agriculture Appropriations bill stopping the renewal of Class B dealers who sell "random-sourced" animals to scientific research, thus halting their operations, with no opposition. The language in the yearly Appropriations bill states that any Class B dealers who supply random-sourced animals to research facilities cannot renew their Class B license after expiry.

The National Research Council released their report, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, on May 29, 2009, entitled "Scientific and Humane Issues in the Use of Random-Source Dogs and Cats in Research." The report found it is not necessary to obtain animals from Class “B” dealers for National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded research. All members of the Committee, as part of their deliberation, viewed Dealing Dogs, HBO’s American Undercover documentary profiling LCA’s undercover investigation into the most notorious Class “B” dealer, C.C. Baird. LCA is recognized on page 83 of the report. In reaction to the report, the NIH has stopped funding all research on dogs and cats purchased from B dealers as of October 1, 2014.

Although these are both important victories, the only way to stop Class B dealers from selling random-sourced dogs and cats to scientific research once and for all is by passing the Pet Safety and Protection Act.

 

LCA's Involvement with the PSPA and Pet Theft

LCA has been investigating Class B dealers since 1988. Investigations have uncovered elaborate pet theft rings; severe neglect of animals by Class B dealers; and improper euthanasia techniques. Investigations by LCA have resulted in Class B dealers and Bunchers being convicted of felonies; serving time in prison; and Class B dealers permanently losing their licenses.

In 2006, Dealing Dogs, an HBO documentary was released. The documentary followed "Pete", a whistleblower working for LCA, as he worked for C.C. Baird, a notorious Class B dealer who sold random-source dogs to labs in Arkansas. The investigation exposed horrendous animal abuse at Baird's kennel, including an elaborate pet theft ring, neglected dogs left to languish in kennel cages who died from neglect; and dogs being shot in the head. The documentary received widespread critical praise and won a Genesis award for Outstanding Cable Documentary.

 

How You Can Help

1. Contact your elected CongressMember and voice support for the Pet Safety and Protection Act. Click here to send an email.

2. Learn more by watching the HBO Documentary Dealing Dogs.  The Documentary follows an LCA investigation into the biggest Class B Dealer in the nation.

3. Donate to LCA and join the fight to help animals.
 

 

Click to learn more about: Dealing Dogs CC Baird Investigation