Montcalm County Votes to Stop Pound Seizure

Cat in shelter

Update April 28: The Montcalm County, Michigan Commissioners have voted to stop giving shelter animals to R&R Research, a Class B dealer that sells them for experimentation and research!

This practice of giving or selling shelter animals to be used for experiments or research is called pound seizure.  Also, go here to read about the bill pending in the Michigan legislature to ban pound seizure and contracts like this one in Montcalm County.  

Update April 17: On April 27 Montcalm County Commissioners will decide whether they should continue to provide shelter animals to R&R Research, a Class B dealer, that then sells them for experimentation and testing. 

The County has met before to discuss this issue and opted to "study" it. 

Update Jan. 27, 2009: The Montcalm County Commissioners decided to appoint a committee to study whether the county should continue to provide shelter animals to R&R Research, a Class B dealer, that sells them for experimentation and testing.

The committee met yesterday and discussed the matter before a standing room only crowd. 

The commissioners also decided to continue the contract with R&R Research for 6 months while the matter is under study.

There is really nothing to study here. It’s a matter of choosing adoptions and spay/neuter programs and education about  responsible pet ownership over shipping all animals off to become subjects of painful experiments and tests.  That’s the choice.

For more information, read Animal Law Coalition’s report below.  

Original report: Shelter catsWe need your help to try to stop shelter animals in Montcalm County, Michigan from going to R&R Research where they are then sold for medical experiments and testing. Or worse.

On January 26, 2009 the Montcalm County Commissioners will decide if the county will continue its contract with R&R Research. Please write or call the commissioners and urge them to end this contract with R&R Research.

Here is why:

R&R Research is a USDA Class B dealer.  Class B dealers are basically those who buy, sell and transport animals for "research… testing, experimentation, exhibition, or for use as a pet; or any dog at the wholesale level for hunting, security, or breeding purposes". Class B dealers are theoretically regulated under the Animal Welfare Act, 9 C.F.R. 1.1 et seq.

Some have been accused of taking pets which are stolen or obtained from "random sources", keeping them in horrific conditions and then selling them for medical research or experiments. For example, unscrupulous Class B dealers often answer ads in the newspaper that offer animals "free to a good home". They will steal pets off the streets. Laboratories will pay $250-$350 per animal.

R&R Research found a way to minimize the cost and maximize the profit in finding animals for research and experimentation.  As a Class B dealer, R&R Research has obtained animals from the Montcalm County, Michigan shelter free of charge.  USDA records reveal R & R Research sold 592 animals in 2004 with gross revenues of $99,723. In 2005 R & R Research made $179,115 on the sale of 611 animals. R&R Research earned even more in 2006, $196,272 based on sales of 621 dogs and cats.  Over the years R&R Research makes an average of $311 on each animal provided by the county shelter.

Montcalm County even has a policy that rescues are denied access to impounded animals for one day after they become available for adoption.

In fact, this past December Jim Woudenberg, owner of R&R Research complained to Montcalm County Animal Control about "the problem of rescues" requesting the return of animals released to research.  He means released to his misnamed company which sells the animals for research and experimentation or simply kills them.

Woudenberg asked for confirmation that no such requests would be accepted except from the original owner. He asked that rescues be made aware of this.  At the same time the County stopped releasing any information by telephone about the disposition of animals.  

Rescues and the public have long complained that the county never contacts rescues about animals available for adoption or makes any real effort to find homes for them. They are for the most part given to R&R Research which brings in substantial revenues by then selling these poor animals for research or experiments.  And how knows what else this outfit does with them.

The USDA cited R&R Research once for advertising as an animal shelter where people could surrender animals. It was cited another time for taking stray animals off the streets. There have been other violations and reports over the years of gross cruelty to animals.

This is a sleazy Class B dealer that has been getting animals from the county shelter for 30  years. It’s time for the county to put an end to this contract and start finding homes for these animals and encouraging spay/neuter and responsible pet ownership.

Few shelters sell or give animals for research or experimentation.  Let’s take Montcalm County off the list. There is no reason to use animals this way. It’s an outmoded, cruel practice.  Write or call the county commissioners and politely but firmly tell them it is time to stop this practice of giving homeless animals away for research or experimentation; it’s time to stop the cruelty.   

3 thoughts on “Montcalm County Votes to Stop Pound Seizure”

  1. We really need an atty to help this case along…we need to slap the commissioners with a lawsuit on the existing illegal faults of the county to pursuade them to NOT renew this contract if they want to avoid future litigation against ALL of them!

  2. Talked to a lady at animal control who seems to think or has been told to say that this man Jim Woudenberg just “wants to find [the animals] homes” too. Seriously, with a name like R&R Research, he’s looking to find them homes? And what is the deal with this day waiting period for rescues to come in? According to the same lady, Robin, Jim Woudenberg can’t come in until the next day either. What’s the point of having a wait anyway? The public can still adopt from the rescue groups. Is this a money thing? Rescue groups and “the public” would have to pay adoption fees. I’ll be contacting the commisioners too. I’d like to see what kind of deal they have going with this person pretending to care about these creatures. He just cares about the bottom line and his pockets. A committee is a waste of time. This is just disturbing. Very glad I was made aware of it.

  3. Really this article must inspire people to take action locally. If you dont get involved in the legislative process to make owners responsible for providing a good home for the family pets then there is no way situations and subjects like mentioned above will ever change. Animal research stems from a prevailing attitude that pet owners are not responsible or held accountable in any enforceable way. If we cant enforce the foundation of these principles, there is no way we will enforce a second level or secondary issue as animal testing or research.

    I myself boycott all companies that participate in animal testing. Procter and Gamble is enemy number 1. They make Tide, Folger’s, and many household items. You have to start reading the labels.

    I made a post earlier on my blog at on this subject if you want to read more of my thoughts on this issue.

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