Update April 28:Â 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.Â Â 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.Â Â
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.Â
The County has met before to discuss this issue and opted to "study" it.Â
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.Â
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 aboutÂ responsible pet ownership over shipping all animals off to become subjects of painful experiments and tests.Â That’s the choice.
For more information, read Animal Law Coalition’s report below. Â
Original report: We 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. Â 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. Â As a Class B dealer, R&R Research has obtained animals from the Montcalm County, MichiganÂ shelter free of charge. Â 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. Â 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.Â 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.Â At the same time the County stopped releasing any information by telephone about the disposition of animals. Â
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 inÂ substantial revenues by then selling these poor animals for research or experiments.Â 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 30Â 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. Â Let’s take Montcalm County off the list. There is no reason to use animals this way. It’s an outmoded, cruel practice. Â 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.Â Â Â