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US Friends, Please Urge Support for the Pet Safety and Protection Act

September 12, 2010

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Past visitors to may be familiar with Cruella, a shepherd mix from a small town in Michigan who was found wandering, wearing a purple collar and chain. Cruella was taken to a local pound and was later given to a random source Class B dealer, who, after holding her for six months, sold her to a university laboratory where she was killed after seven months. In reviewing her records, it was clear that Cruella had once been someone’s pet.

The American Anti-Vivisection Society was originally founded in an effort to prevent the sale of dogs like Cruella from shelters to laboratories, where they were destined to suffer and die in invasive experiments. Since then, AAVS has been advocating against such practices for over 125 years, and we have been successful in aiding in the implementation of pound seizure bans, including at the state level in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, pound seizure continues in some areas in the country, but there is now an opportunity to rid this practice of one group of particularly despicable players: random source Class B dealers.

Animal brokers who obtain dogs and cats from shelters and then sell them to research and education facilities, random source Class B dealers have a long history of Animal Welfare Act (AWA) violations, some of which include illegal acquisition of animals, improper record keeping, and failure to provide adequate veterinary care. Today, there are 10 random source Class B dealers operating in the U.S., and six are under investigation for AWA violations. Despite this, random source Class B dealers continue to reap huge profits from their unscrupulous business dealings.

Although some may say there is a need for random source Class B dealers, the evidence does not support this claim. A decade ago, there were over 100 Class B dealers, but today there are only 10; and earlier this year, the National Academies’ Institute for Animal Research conducted a study, finding that random source Class B dealers are not necessary players in federally-funded research. Thankfully, the Safety and Protection Act (H.R. 3907 in the House and S. 1834 in the Senate), a long-awaited bill that will plug the supply line from shelters to random source Class B dealers to research and university labs, was introduced earlier this year.

The Pet Safety and Protection Act was drafted too late for Cruella. But passage of this important bill could help save other dogs and cats from her same fate.

Every year, millions of animals in need of sanctuary enter animal shelters across the country. While many are lucky enough to find new homes, hundreds become victims of pound seizure, as they are purchased by class B dealers who then sell the animals at an enormous profit to research and education facilities, where they are used in invasive and oftentimes painful experimental procedures.

Such was the case with Cruella, a shepherd cross who was found in Carson City, Michigan, wearing a purple collar and chain, indicating that she was once someone’s companion animal. Considered a stray at the time, Cruella was housed in pen 20 at Montcalm County Animal Control until she was relinquished to R&R Research, a class B animal dealer, and became known simply as E6993. She remained at R&R for 6 months, likely spending most of her time alone, confined in a cage with limited human companionship.

Later, traveling well over 1,000 miles with 13 other dogs, E6993 was sold to the University of Florida, where veterinary students named her Cruella. While there, over a period of 7 months, she was sedated or anesthetized 7 times, often for hours at a time, and used in medical training procedures, including endoscopy, abdominal surgery, and ultrasound exercises, by both veterinary students and veterinarians. Cruella also underwent surgery with the intention to spay her, but it was discovered, after her abdominal cavity was opened, that she was already spayed, further pointing to the fact that she was once someone’s pet. During her last month at the University, Cruella twice experienced a lack of appetite; however, reportedly, she would eat handfuls of canned food. Whether this was the result of kennel stress after months of isolation and exploitation or the physical toll of enduring multiple sedations and veterinary procedures is unknown, but it is certainly likely.

On July 23, 2008, 195 days after her arrival at the University of Florida and over a year after she was found in Michigan, Cruella was killed via lethal injection.

Please contact your Senators and Representative HERE and ask them to spare America’s dogs and cats from a life in research laboratories by supporting the Pet Safety and Protection Act, legislation that would ban random source Class B animal dealers.

  • For additional information regarding pound seizure, please visit Ban Pound Seizure
  • For additional actions and information regarding vivisection, please click HERE
One Comment leave one →
  1. Barbara Maddalena permalink
    September 13, 2010 3:10 pm

    All forms of animal cruelty must be stopped. We need stronger laws to protect animals and our own pets. We need stiffer penalties for animal abusers NOW!!


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