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Posts Tagged ‘USDA’

Government Agency Demonstrates Once Again How It Supports Puppy Mills

October 5, 2014 2 comments

On Friday, I was alerted to this Action Alert from the Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS):

PLEASE ASK USDA TO ENFORCE THE ANIMAL WELFARE ACT
September 30, 2014 – In a stunning setback in their efforts to increase enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA),  USDA has suddenly reversed course and decided to, once again, tolerate substandard conditions at puppy mills.
Dr. Chester Gipson, USDA’s chief of enforcement for the AWA, recently told animal advocates that the USDA needs “to enable breeders to sell their dogs to pet stores” and citing violations is an impediment to such sales…..
Shockingly, USDA has made the decision to help substandard breeders circumvent these ordinances and to continue to sell puppies in spite of continuing violations.

Sad Looking Chocolate LabI found myself at complete odds. The idealistic activist side of me wanted to scream in outrage at what appears to be a setback in the fight against puppy mills, while the veteran, and somewhat jaded, side of me could only sigh and shake my head in resignation.

If you have any knowledge, understanding or experience with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), then you know this is simply par for the course for them. I don’t think I would be exaggerating to say they are probably one of the worst agencies in the federal government.

Whether it be the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), responsible for enforcing the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and for inspecting puppy mills, or the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), responsible for ensuring that the nation’s commercial supply of meat, poultry, and egg products are safe, the USDA seems to excel in their inability to perform their job.

In 2010, the Office of Inspector General issued their latest audit (one of many) of APHIS and their performance as it came to enforcing the Animal Welfare Act with commercial breeders. The results, while not surprising, were damning.

They found the following deficiencies:

  •  The Enforcement Process Was Ineffective Against Problematic Dealers -The agency believed compliance could be enforced through education and cooperation and thus took little or no enforcement action against most commercial dog and cat breeders
  • Inspectors Did Not Cite or Document Violations Properly To Support Enforcement Actions – inspectors did not correctly report all repeat or direct violations and did not take pictures or document properly. As a result, some problematic puppy mill dealers were inspected less frequently and in many cases got off easily.
  • APHIS’ New Penalty Worksheet Calculated Minimal Penalties. Although APHIS previously agreed to revise its penalty worksheet to produce “significantly higher” penalties for violators of AWA, the agency continued to assess minimal penalties that did not deter violators. In other words, puppy millers received minimal penalties a majority of the time.
  • APHIS Misused Guidelines to Lower Penalties for AWA Violators – Inspectors misused its guidelines so that violators would be penalized more lightly than warranted, even for repeat offenders with serious violations.
  • Some Large Breeders Circumvented AWA by Selling Animals Over the Internet. (This was recently changed, but given their past history, I doubt it will be enforced or treated any differently than today.)
  • Did Not Adequately Establish Payment Plans for Stipulations – Payment plans for violators were not adequately established so they rarely paid, and if they failed to pay, there was no process in place to follow up. (What a joke.)
Puppy mill kennelsI would like to say this is an aberration, a one-time deal, but that is not the case. Past audits from 2005, 1995 and 1992, showed similar inadequacies and violations.  The USDA excels in their inability and unwillingness to enforce current law. It is what they do best.And it doesn’t just apply to puppy mills.
Take a look at the Office of Inspector General’s report from May 2013 on the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) as it related to swine slaughter facilities (Reminder: FSIS is the public health agency responsible for ensuring food safety as it relates to the commercial supply of meat, poultry, and egg products.):
  • Enforcement Policies Do Not Deter Repeat Violators
  • Some Inspectors Performed Insufficient Post-Mortem and Sanitation Inspections
  • Swine HIMP Pilot Program Lacks Sufficient Oversight (HIMP = HACCP-based Inspection Models Project (HIMP) for swine.
  • FSIS Could Not Always Ensure Humane Handling at Swine Slaughter Plants

Or look at the Office of Inspector General’s report on Verifying Credentials of Veterinarians Employed or Accredited by USDA or the Office of Inspector General’s report on FSIS and their E. Coli testing on boxed beef or numerous other reports related to APHIS or FSIS.

PugYes. The USDA’s supervision of animals  (in puppy mills and/or other animal facilities) is a complete and utter failure and has been for a very long time. Maybe that is why I am not surprised by this most recent setback. The truth is this is not a setback at all. It is simply a new iteration of what they have always done – let the violators go free, unchecked, with little chance of ever having to face charges for their violations. Same dance, different dance hall.  If anyone thinks the USDA or APHIS is going to start enforcing the law now, then they are sadly mistaken. They haven’t been doing so for years.

I don’t discourage from contacting Secretary Tom Vilsack, as CAPS requests, just that you not expect much from this agency. This is just the same dance in a different dance hall.

You can contact Secretary Tom Vilsack at AgSec@usda.gov or leave a message at (202) 720-3631.

Maybe the best plan of attack is to take the middle guy out and just take the fight to your own local town and city governments. The more you support ordinances and laws that outlaw the sale of pets in pet stores in your community the less power the USDA has to influence anything. Let’s take the fight where it is most effective. Lead the charge locally and eliminate the need for the USDA at all.

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100 Problem Puppy Mills – Is your state on the list?

May 12, 2013 22 comments

Puppy mill kennelsLast Thursday the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) came out with their “Horrible Hundred” – one hundred puppy mills it feels need closer scrutiny by state and federal authorities (“A Horrible Hundred: 100 Problem Puppy Mills“).

These are not necessarily the worst puppy mills in the country, but they are indicative of many puppy mills who provide inadequate and substandard care. Most of these facilities have been repeatedly cited by federal and local officials and have at least 100 dogs or more, including one in Minnesota with 1,100 dogs. Yes. 1,100 breeding dogs.

Many, if not all, of these facilities sell their dogs at pet stores (and over the internet) all across the country. One of the four  puppy mills listed for Minnesota has been found to have sold dogs in pet stores in Michigan, Chicago, Ohio and California.

Want to see if any from your state are listed? Go here. 

You can read a more detailed report on each of these mills here

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

So which puppy mills were on the list from Minnesota?

Carole and Larry Harries/ Harries K-9 Ranch – Alpha, MN

Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS) investigated the Harries back in 2007 and called out issues with the wire mesh flooring, which allowed the dogs legs to slip through. They also documented dirty kennels, dirty water dishes, matted fur on several dogs, feces build up and up to 5 dogs per kennel in several kennels.

Apparently, not much has changed since 2007. In February 2013, the Harries were cited for a repeat violation by USDA inspectors for several dogs in need of veterinary care, including a shih tzu whose teeth were so rotted that the inspector could see the roots of her teeth, and two dogs with excessive matting around the tail with feces matted into the fur. 

Ted Johnson / Funtime Kennels – Windom, MN

Ted appears to have a revolving door policy when it comes to his USDA licenses, often letting them lapse and then reapplying (maybe he couldn’t make it just selling over the internet or just trying to hide his business from people like me?). He has also had multiple violations at his kenneling facility.

Back in 2011, he was cited for failure to establish and maintain adequate veterinary care as is seen in this USDA inspection report.

In April 2013, USDA inspectors found two Maltese dogs his kennel that had such severe dental disease that they had lost most of their teeth. One of the dogs had only two teeth left, and one of her remaining two teeth “was loose and moved easily when touched.” The dog was seen “excessively licking its mouth with its tongue hanging out of its mouth most of the time,” according to the inspector. The USDA also noted that the ammonia (urine) smell in the facility “was strong enough to make the inspector’s eyes burn.” 

John & Lyle Renner/ Renner’s Kennel – Detroit Lakes, MN

Renner’s Kennels have been cited multiple times for violations. This is one from 2004:

“One kennel that houses three golden retrievers (199, 176, 175) has an area of kennel wire that has turned inside the cage and the ends are poking out towards the dogs in the cage. Another kennel housing three huskies (238, 184, ?) has a pipe end that protrudes to the inside of the kennel that appears that the end of the pipe is sharp and may cause injury to the dogs.”

The most recent set of violations were received in January 2013, when they were “fined more than $5,000 by the USDA for repeat violations of the Animal Welfare Act regulations.” Previous violations documented on USDA inspection reports include “dogs kept in small cages without the minimum required space; lack of proper cleaning and sanitization, violations for dogs needing vet care, including a husky who could not bear weight on his leg, a dog with a missing eye and discharge, dogs with swollen/oozing paws (common in puppy mills with wire flooring), dogs without adequate protection from extreme temperatures, strong odors and accumulations of feces.” 

Wanda Kretzman / Clearwater Kennel Inc. – Cushing, MN (has 1,124 dogs as of February 2013)

According to Animal Folks MN, Wanda’s facility is THE LARGEST BREEDER/BROKER in MINNESOTA. She has over 1100 dogs and multiple violations covering several years, including violations for incomplete records, wire mesh floors that allow dogs’ feet to go through, not enough floor or head space in pens, and buildup of feces under kennels and in outdoor pens in 2006 (St Cloud Times, Mar 3, 2007) and violations in 2012 for seven dogs with bloody, inflamed and/or swollen feet, likely from straddling the painful wire flooring (HSUS, 100 Puppy Mills Report, May 2013).

Wanda’s puppy mill puppies have been sold in California, Chicago, Michigan and at dog auctions in Ohio. In an undercover video from the January 15, 2011 Farmerstown Dog Auction in Ohio, over 300 of the 504 dogs sold were from Clearwater Kennels (see the video below to learn more about dog auctions).

It’s hard not to see how this puppy mill ended up on the list is it?

puppymillsblack

Don’t see your state on the list? Chances are you will on a previous year’s report. HSUS has been highlighting some of these awful puppy mills for seven years now.

Want to stop puppy mills?

  • Share with your friends. Pick just one person and educate them on where pet store and internet puppies come from and then ask them to share with just one friend. Spread the word.
  • Send one tweet about puppy mills today.
  • Post one story on Facebook today about puppy mills and let people know where pet store and internet puppies come from.
  • Don’t buy puppies from pet stores or over the internet. Many puppy mills are turning to the internet to sell their dogs now because they are not required to have a USDA license nor are they subject to inspection.
  • Get active. Write your legislator and ask him/her to support a law to tighten the standards of care for puppy mills.

Puppy Mills: Do you know what size cage would your dog live in? I do.

October 1, 2012 26 comments

I was all set to write about Puppy Mill Awareness Day on Sunday, but I was still mulling over some information I had learned from a link someone sent me. The link,  “According to the USDA, how much room does a puppy mill dog need?”, is to a page on the website for Animal Ark Shelter.

It’s a page that allows you to calculate the minimum amount of cage/kennel space your dog would need to meet the minimum USDA standards for licensed USDA breeders (i.e., puppy millers).  With just one number –  your dog’s measured length in inches, you can see what size cage your dog would live in if it were living in a puppy mill.

Keep in mind that this is the size cage your dog would live in for its whole life, as it bred litter after litter of puppies, puppies that are then sold in pet stores, and over the internet.

Having two former breeder dogs, both from puppy mills, I was more than interested to learn what the USDA deems as adequate housing (in this case, kennel space or cage size) for a dog owned by a USDA licensed puppy mill owner.

I measured Lady first. Using the visual guideline on the Animal Ark page, I measured her from nose to butt  – 32 inches. I then put the number into the calculator on their page and hit the Return key. Immediately, I got back the following information:

Lady = 32 inches

According to USDA regulations, she could live in a cage measuring   3.17 feet by 3.17 feet (or 38 inches by 38 inches), or 10 square feet of cage space. (For those who use the metric system, that is .96 meters by .96 meters.)

Next, I measured Daisy. She is approximately 37 inches in length.

Daisy = 37 inches

According to USDA regulations, Daisy could live in a cage measuring 3.58 feet by 3.58 feet (or 43 inches by 43 inches), or 12.84 square feet of cage space. (For those who use the metric system, that is 1.09 by 1.09 meters.)

What struck me first was the number of extra inches the USDA afforded Lady and Daisy (beyond their own body length in inches). The number was the same for each – 6 inches. That’s it. As puppy mill breeding dogs, Lady and Daisy were only required to have 6 extra inches in length and width, beyond their own actual body length. Wow. Can you imagine your dog living its whole life with 6 inches to spare on either side? I can’t.

In addition to that fact, the page also tells you that dogs in USDA licensed puppy mills are only required to have six inches of head room in their cages. Double wow.  So, dogs get 6 extra inches of head room and 6 extra inches in which to turn around in. How could anyone not think that was cruel? Add in the wire flooring that almost all puppy mill dogs stand on, and live on, for their WHOLE lives and you just have to wonder why anyone would want to support an industry like this. And yet, in the United States we do support it  – every single day.

Puppy Mill Awareness Day was created to educate people about the horrors of puppy mills. This post might seem like such a small piece of that bigger message we are trying to get out, but I hope it does one thing for those who read it. I hope it creates a visual of what life is like for those dogs sitting in puppy mill cages with 6 inches to spare.

Every puppy someone buys in a pet store is a vote to support puppy mills.

Every puppy someone purchases over the internet is a vote to support puppy mills.

Every decision made to buy a puppy from one of these places is supporting a cruel practice of keeping dogs in cages, with wire bottoms, and six inches to spare.

Please note: Many mill owners like to tout their USDA license with unsuspecting buyers to give them an air of legitimacy. Don’t buy it. “USDA licensed” does not equal “responsible breeder”. Having a USDA license only means the puppy miller is required to meet certain minimum care standards. Puppy millers who sell over the internet do not have to be USDA-licensed (as of today). They are not subject to any minimum care standards at all. This is why we are seeing more and more puppy millers moving their business to an internet-based one. As sellers of puppies over the internet, puppy millers are not subject to USDA inspection, nor do they have to follow any minimum care instructions when it comes to their dogs. Don’t buy over the internet.

Lady – Puppy mill survivor (cage space: 38 inches)

Daisy – Puppy mill survivor (cage size: 43 inches)

How Do You Stop Puppy Miller Like Kathy Jo Bauck?

October 31, 2011 36 comments

Tonight, WCCO reported on our infamous Minnesota puppy miller, Kathy Jo Bauck. It seems that she has been very busy since she was last in trouble with the law.

Back in August 2008, Ms. Bauck, owner of Pick of the Litter Kennels, Puppies on Wheels and other business aliases, was arrested and charged with nine counts of felony animal cruelty, torture, and practicing veterinary medicine without a license after an undercover video was released by the Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS). Among the medical things she was alleged to have performed on the dogs she owned were:

– Spaying female dogs
– Performed ear croppings on puppies
– Performed tail docking on puppies
– Performed cesarian sections and hernia surgeries on dogs
– Removed dew claws on puppies

This doesn’t include the other things found wrong at Kathy Bauck’s facility, but you can see that in the CAPS video below.

In March of 2009, Ms. Bauck was acquitted of the two felony animal abuse charges leveled against her but convicted on four misdemeanor charges, one animal cruelty and three counts of torture.

So what did the iTeam at WCCO find out? (Go here to see the full report)

In the two years that Kathy Bauck’s license was terminated (terminated is not the same as revoked) by the USDA, she was not supposed to be selling pets wholesale to pet stores, yet according to the report, she was still selling puppies to pet stores in New York City and in Long Island, New York. In other words, she was not legally allowed to sell these dogs, but did so anyways.

According to the iTeam, she was also shipping dogs, mostly Huskies, to someplace called the “Canine Culture Center”. The address turned out to be an address in Chinatown. It was a meat market. She shipped to this location nearly a dozen times.

The iTeam report didn’t lead to these latest developments involving Kathy Bauck, but the work that AnimalFolksMN did to investigate her did. On September 14, 2011, her Animal Welfare Act (AWA) license was permanently revoked and she was disqualified from obtaining an AWA license ever again. All of her animals (except six dogs total) were required to be sold or donated by September 12, 2011.

I would love to be able to say “Good riddance Kathy Bauck”, but somehow I don’t think I can. Under the conditions of the Consent Decision, she was allowed to keep six dogs, three of which can be breeding females.

Nope. I don’t think we’ve heard the last of Ms. Bauck.

UPDATE:
AnimalFolksMN just posted the latest on Kathy Jo Bauck today (Warning: The update does include a graphic photo taken at her facility).

It’s good news for the most part, but I still have reservations given that Ms. Bauck was allowed to keep 6 of her dogs, including 3 breeding females. Given her history, it boggles the mind that they would allow her to own any breeding dogs at all doesn’t it?

Here is a summary:
On September 14, 2011, an agreement was reached (called a Consent Decision) between the USDA-APHIS and Kathy Bauck which specified:

License revoked: Kathy Bauck’s Animal Welfare Act (AWA) license was revoked and she is permanently disqualified from obtaining an AWA license or registation. This order also applies to Allan Bauck (Kathy Bauck’s husband).

Cease and Desist: Kathy and Allan Bauck shall cease and desist from violating the Animal Welfare Act, and stop any activity for which an AWA license is required.

Donate/sell animals: Kathy and Allan Bauck were required to sell or donate the animals under their custody or control or on any of their premises. They are allowed to keep six dogs total (3 of which can be intact females). The animals needed to be sold or donated by September 12, 2011.

$100,000 penalty: Kathy and Allan Bauck were assessed a civil penalty of $100,000, of which $5,000 was to be paid within 25 days of the Order and the remaining $95,000 would be held in abeyance — which means, if they do not comply with the Order, they will have to pay the $95,000.

Enforcement: The Secretary of Agriculture retains jurisdiction of this matter to enforce the terms of this Consent Decision, and ensure compliance.

The above also applies to their corporation, Pine Lake Enterprises. A separate Consent Decision was reached with Corrine Peters and Janet Jesuit. They, too, are disqualified from ever holding an AWA license. As with Bauck, Corinne/Janet are allowed to have 6 dogs total, of which 3 can be intact females. (Unlike with Bauck’s Decision, their Decision states that “dogs” excludes any puppies less than 12 weeks of age.)

NOTE: Peggy Weise, another Minnesota dog breeder, was also included within the USDA’s Complaint. She, along with Bauck, sold dogs to New York pet stores. Her case was dismissed but it may be under appeal.

So where did Kathy Bauck’s puppies go? Click here to see a map detailing where her puppies were shipped and to see a list of locations that received puppies from Kathy Jo Bauck.

Additional Information on Kathy Bauck:
Puppy Miller, Kathy Bauck, Charged with Abuse & Torture Will Keep 1000+ Dogs
The Verdict on Kathy Bauck – MN Puppy Miller
A Profile on Kathy Bauck by AnimalFolksMN
WCCO iTeam Investigation
Recent Status on Kathy Jo Bauck

Proposals, puppy mills and postulations

October 5, 2011 8 comments

I’ve been involved in a rather long discourse (over several days) with someone on a friend’s page. The topic? The new regulations being proposed by the USDA regarding the retail sale of pets, over the internet and elsewhere. These regulations would revise the current version of the Animal Welfare Act, which is the overarching federal law governing cat and dog breeders.

Currently, the Animal Welfare Act does not include governance over the retail sale of cats and dogs who are sold directly to consumers, “such as through websites, by telephone, at parking lots or from the kennel.”

More and more puppy millers are selling their dogs over the internet without any fear of being exposed. It’s a much more anonymous process for them. They can hide all the bad stuff, like: animal abuse, lack of vet care, poor living conditions for the animals, sick dogs and cats, etc. It’s much easier to fool the general public over the internet when they can’t see your facility and you don’t face inspection by the USDA.

The long running discourse began with the following postulation.

“Before everyone gets on the “Yahoo” bandwagon on this, please realize that any legislation that attempts to regulate folks in the way this one does is only going to get the honest and responsible folks. Limits on pet numbers is just the first PETA and HSUS step to get their foot in the door and then watch the numbers lower down. Who is gonna regulate the folks who backyard breed? How will they track folks who advertise in the newspapers or on internet?? Use a different phone number, a different email addy, a different ‘kennel’ name and in the eyes of the govt, they are different folks. The responsible breeders, who do the testing–health and genetic–and participate in dog sports and dog shows and breed only to better the breed are gonna be the ones who get hurt by this until—you and I can no longer own pets. Not a world I choose to live in. And no, I am not a breeder, yes I do rescue, yes I am a responsible pet owner who cares deeply about my dogs and any future dogs I will share my life with. This is not the way to fix things.”

I looked at this comment with some skepticism. When someone says something like “this is how PETA and HSUS plans to control you”, my feelers start twitching. It’s too close to Humane Watch propaganda to not have them twitch, but then another commenter asked “Is this bill funded in a self sustaining manner? Is there staffing? The USDA is overwhelmed and underfunded.” Now those are good questions, I thought. The USDA isn’t doing a good job inspecting the breeders they are supposed to be inspecting now. How could they possibly take on more?

This same commenter goes on to say that we should focus on enforcing current laws versus adding more laws. But, is that really an option? Current laws are all over the place depending on which state you live in. There is no national legislation around the retail sale of puppies and kitties. So are these the only options? To either support legislation that may not be able to be enforced effectively or to not support it at all? That seems rather limited doesn’t it?

To me, doing nothing seems like no option at all. We’re already way behind the puppy millers. They’re using the internet to sell their puppies and kitties now. (Heck, even eBay helps them out!) And, puppy millers now have access to folks who are willing to look the other way as long as they get paid to create their websites for them. So, do we not support a bill that captures the outliers, those flying under the radar? Or, do we support it and hope that the enforcement will come? I prefer the latter to the former.

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?

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