Archive

Posts Tagged ‘stolen pets’

Blog The Change – Part 2: Animal Testing and Stolen Pets

July 17, 2011 9 comments

Blog the Change

Part 2 of 2
This post is the second in a two-part series looking at animal testing. Yesterday, I shared information about animal testing, and the companies and products that continue to use animals in testing their products. Animal testing is something we don’t usually see, hear about, or even experience on a day to day basis (unless PETA, HSUS or some other organization brings attention to it through a video or a story) and yet, many of us use the products associated with it on a daily basis. We don’t often stop to think “What if it were my dog or cat or rat?”, but perhaps we should. I am hoping this post will add a little more of a personal perspective that may make you change your mind. It’s a story about a conversation I had with a woman at a luncheon I attended last fall.

The luncheon was for a small rescue organization that I had learned about from a member of my networking group. I had attended the event with the intention of doing a little networking for my pet sitting business. Instead, I ended up doing a lot of listening and learning. One of the things I learned about was how some laboratories acquire animals for use in testing.

The people at this luncheon were mostly senior citizens, many of them long-time activists who are passionate about helping animals in need. I heard many stories about animals rescued from danger including dogs, cats and horses. I also heard many share their latest update on an animal they were fostering. Almost everyone at my table fostered animals. I was impressed and a little blown away by their stories and their dedication to animals in need.

But, there was one woman who held my interest above all the others. She had a strong personality but clearly had a heart of gold. We introduced ourselves over lunch and as we spoke with one another, she began to share her harrowing, and sometimes humorous, tales of how she worked to help animals. She told me about scaling the sides of buildings to investigate labs suspected of testing animals in secret. She told me how she had gone undercover at both in-state and out-of-state puppy mills to expose animal abuse. She also told me how she had actually rescued abused animals under the cover of darkness. In a word, she was fascinating.

But there was one story she told that stuck with me above all others – her work with some of the more “respected” and established laboratories to rescue people’s stolen pets. Yes. I said stolen pets. It’s hard to believe, but some of the animals being used for testing are actually someone’s pet. These are cats and dogs (mostly dogs) who have been stolen from people’s yards and sold to laboratories for testing.

Sometimes labs will put out a request that they need a certain type or breed of animal or that they need a certain number of animals for testing. This request often is received by people like puppy millers and other Class “A” Dealers, who will supply the lab with the dogs they need, for a fee. But some of the people who receive the request are Class “B” dealers, people who obtain their animals from a variety of sources – people’s backyards, Craigslist ads offering a dog or cat as “free to a good home” and animal shelters. According to this woman, these people don’t care how they get the animals they sell to laboratories. They only care about making money, and they will steal dogs to get it. You can read more about Class “B” Dealers and stolen pets here and here.

The woman I spoke with told me that she has a deal with some of the labs in the cities. She promises not to expose them or reveal their names and in exchange they allow her into their facilities to check for, and rescue, people’s stolen pets. The last time she was there she saved six dogs. Amazing. But, it made me wonder, what happens to the animals who aren’t lucky enough to have someone like her to rescue them? Who’s checking for other people’s stolen dogs? In most cases, the answer is no one.

Wouldn’t it be easier if no animals were used for testing? HSUS seems to think so, they have been working on legislation that would ban sale of dogs and cats to research institutions by Class B dealers.

But HSUS can’t do it alone. There is an opportunity for each of us to do our part as well. We can help by choosing to stop purchasing products from companies that still test on animals. We can vote with our dollar. And, by doing so we make animal testing less appealing and force companies to look for alternate ways to test their products. We also eliminate the funding source for Class “B” dealers as well. If this was your stolen pet, wouldn’t you want people to do that for you?

Want to know which companies and products and companies still test on animals? Go here. Then, make a grocery list of these products so the next time you are shopping you can avoid buying them. Or, go to the PETA site and choose to find only those companies who don’t test on animals. You can get that here (Thanks to my friend Hilary for sharing this link!).

This is your chance to really make a difference. It doesn’t take that much effort and it may help to avoid your pet from being stolen from you some day in the future. That’s change I am willing to commit to, aren’t you?

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: