Pound Seizure - Using Dogs for Research, Testing & Teaching

Dogs like the rescue dogs in the photos below (members of my own dog pack), should have the opportunity to have the life that they deserve to have. Dogs don't get to choose who they live with and what is done to them. Their welfare and their lives are at the mercy of human beings - will they end up with someone who truly respects and loves them or with someone who uses and abuses them - then discards their life as if it is trash, abandons them, leaves them stray. Dogs that end up in shelters, stray, homeless have been let down by society once, making it all the more tragic when they are let down twice. What a dog wants most is to have the opportunity to live the life it deserves to live - to be loved and to give love like only a dog can. 

In this day and age of technology there is no need to test product on dogs and other animals - many other companies are no longer doing so and they are profitable. 

So why do these companies you see listed below still carry out this barbaric practice? 

What possible excuse can there be to justify the ongoing suffering of non-human animals  - including dogs - for the testing of product?

The only real reason is that so many humans are greedy opportunists. To these people making a dollar is everything no matter the consequences, no matter the cost to others, particularly non-human animals - the road to abuse lies wide open.

At the bottom of this article you will find a link to an extensive list of companies that test on animals. Unfortunately the list is very long and you will see many companies listed who you are very familiar with…producing many products that people use and wear on a daily basis. Many people have absolutely no idea that many of the major pet-food manufacturing companies carry out lethal testing of their product on dogs and other companion animals.

If you have never had the opportunity to stop and think about this topic, or do a little research you are probably not aware of the fundamentals of this practice. And let’s face-it the information is not loudly and proudly broadcast by the manufacturers and governmental regulatory authorities who allow and ‘oversee’ the industry. Is this a real surprise? Well, to the general population it is, but to people like myself it is just one more form of legalized abuse carried out upon companion animals. We live in a society - Canada and the USA where in many provinces and states:
So here are a few facts regarding Pound Seizure that you may not be aware of and some things you can do to help ensure the safety of dogs...

What is Pound Seizure?

Animal shelters/pounds and animal control facilities are permitted to sell lost, abandoned, homeless dogs and cats for use in experimentation (research, testing, teaching). This practice is called ‘Pound Seizure’.

Where is Pound Seizure Legal in North America?

Pound Seizure is legal and occurs every day in Canada and the USA.

Ontario is the only province left in Canada where pound seizure is the law. What does this mean?

Well, in Ontario, pounds must hold dogs for three days, and then they can sell the stray pets to Class 'B' Dealers who then sell the dogs and cats to labs that use them for experiments. If there is an order from a laboratory, the pound is required by law, after the three-day waiting period, to provide the animals ordered to the laboratories rather than euthanize or continue to hold them. There are some municipalities in Ontario who understand that this law is wrong and refuse to surrender dogs for research, but there are many more that comply to the law.

In other provinces selling dogs to laboratories is not a law however it is also not against the law - so pound dogs are sold by shelters for research. This means that shelters can choose to do so or not as they wish. Of all the provinces where this practice is a choice, Quebec is the worst offender for selling dogs for research.

Look at These Statistics
In 2007 Companies and Universities in Canada used 15,726 dogs and cats in experimentation. How does this number breakdown by province?

4% Atlantic Canada, (585 dogs and cats);

11% Western Canada - Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and BC, (1,662 dogs and cats;

33% Ontario (5,130 dogs and cats);

52% Quebec (8,159 dogs and cats).

It should be noted that backyard breeders are also a source of dogs for Class 'B' Dealers.  The following provides some statistics reflecting known numbers of dogs acquired and sold to labs by Class 'B' Dealers in 2008 as noted by the USDA. One must always remember that there are always sales of dogs that are not reported - black market sales.

In the USA, 4,643 dogs were acquired by Class B Dealers in 2008 - the numbers breakdown as follows:
49% from hobby breeders (back-yard breeders) and other individuals;
31% from Class 'B' Dealers;
20% directly from government pounds or shelters. 

The USDA has not issued comparative data for subsequent years. Although the reported numbers show a decline in the number of dogs being used for research, dogs are still being used and killed in the name of research. In the USA, ten-year average 1978 to 1987 -187,464 dogs were used for research; 1998 to 2007 69,223 dogs were used for research.

How Much Do Companies and Universities Pay for a Pound Seizure Dog?

Pound or shelter dogs (also termed ‘random source dogs’) provide a cheap source of supply at about $6.00/per dog. And the available supply is endless.

Can this Research, Testing, Teaching Be Done Without Harming Dogs?

Many researchers, prestigious research facilities, medical schools, etc. in North America, the UK and other parts of the world choose not to experiment on dogs and other animals for moral as well as economic and scientific reasons or simple to obey law. These companies and institutions are proof that products can be developed safely and profitably, students in medical and veterinary colleges can efficiently and fully acquire all required knowledge and skills without causing the pain, suffering and death of innocent living beings.

Supposed human entitlement is a very weak reason to sentence even one dog's life (let alone many) to suffering and death.

The Real Meaning of 'Research Testing' & 'Teaching'

Every year, tens of thousands of dogs are used in drug-toxicity studies in Europe and North America. The researchers start their testing program by giving the dogs a dosage that will kill. Then they take another group of dogs and scale the dosage back so it causes severe suffering but not immediate death. And so on, reducing the dosage on other dogs until they achieve the result desired. All of the dogs suffer terribly and then die.

Cosmetic companies, companies producing household cleaners and so on do the same kind of testing. Dogs are left to suffer with major parts of their bodies chemically burned, internal and external wounds, induced failure of organs and so on. Again, the dogs suffer and die - most often their death is slow and painful.

Many Universities use dogs for veterinary learning - operating on the dogs so the students can learn procedure and then they euthanizing the dogs when they are still under anesthetic. Some of the dogs are operated on more than once - depends on the university. Some universities put the dogs on treadmills forcing them to exercise until the dog's heart bursts. The Universities carry out many such atrocities on dogs - and to think that they where all someones 'pet' at one time. What a betrayal of a sacred trust!

If You Give Your Dog to a Animal Control Centre, Shelter or Municipal Pound

Make sure you DO NOT surrender your dog to a shelter unless you are 100% certain that they do not participate in Pound Seizure. 

Instead surrender your dog to a reputable, certified rescue group. Many people have given their dog’s up to Shelters because they felt another person would be able to give the dog a better life - more attention, exercise and so on. When they check back to see the adoption status of their former dog some of these people have found out that the dog was either subject to Pound Seizure or he shelter choose to sell the dog to a research lab. Although the people surrendered the dog with the best intention - for the dog’s welfare - the dog ended up dead.

At least if the dog had been simply euthanized by the shelter, the dog would have passed away in some sort of peace rather than alone in confusion and agony.

Dogs Should be Cherished by Humanity

How can we have laws for to prevent cruelty to dogs and then turn around and allow dogs to be used for 'research'.  

How many times does a dog have to suffer? 

Dogs who end up in 'shelters' have already been let down by humanity. Dogs don't get to choose who they live with and what is done to them. Their welfare and their lives are at the mercy of human beings - will they end up with someone who truly respects and loves them or with someone who uses and abuses them - then discards their life as if it is trash, abandons them, leaves them stray. What a dog wants most is to have the opportunity to live the life it deserves to live - to be loved and to give love like only a dog can. 

All though I see all of the terrible things that mankind does to dogs, I will never understand how ‘civilized’ people and a ‘civilized’ nation can:

A - Sanction Pound Seizure.

B - Not make it illegal to sell of stray, abandoned, homeless dogs for research, testing, teaching.

C - Not make it illegal to breed dogs specifically for research, testing, teaching - this is just as wrong.

To endorse or silently allow any of these things is no different than using dogs as bait and fight dogs in dog fighting - another brutal painful and deadly connivance of mankind.  It is no different than the dog meat trade (China, Indonesia, Korea, Philippines, Taiwan, etc.).

Are There any Organizations Striving for Pound Seizure Reform?

Groups such as the Animal Alliance continue to work tirelessly to create awareness and push reform. As a result of their ongoing efforts Guelph University and the Ontario Veterinary College have voluntarily made reforms to their policies to ensure that no more pound dogs will be used for teaching or experimentation, that dogs who are used for skills training will be ‘recovered’ and adopted out, and that no more dogs will be killed for practice surgeries. While this is a great step forward, there are many other institutions and companies in the province of Ontario who have not made any such reforms. 

Help Create Change

One - Well you can become an advocate of change by spreading the word about Pound Seizure - most people do not even know that this occurs!

Two - You can sign petitions. Although you may not think this worth the time and bother - I can tell you that it is. When enough people sign governments are forced to pay attention. I have and will continue to sign many petitions against Pound Seizure in Canada, the US and around the world. Here are some sites that you can visit which host a lot of animal welfare petitions.

Three - You can reduce the number of products that you purchase from companies that test on animals;

Four - If you live in the Province of Ontario Canada, Animal Alliance has laid out some steps that you can follow to take action. The following is an excerpt from their site:

Animal Alliance prepared a document entitled The Political, Animal Services, and Scientific Case AgainstPound Seizure regarding the arguments against pound seizure and how such practices stop the implementation of progressive animal services programmes. To find out about animals in your area, you can mail your municipality a Freedom of Information request - a sample letter is available by clicking here. Also available for download is a document regarding teaching alternatives for veterinary students.’
We need to keep the pressure on the Honourable Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario, and the Honourable Jean Charest, Premier of Quebec, to bring in legislation banning the use of lost pets in research. So please, mail and call them. Hand-written letters are best but you can also print our sign-on letter by clicking here.

The Honourable Dalton McGuinty
Premier of Ontario
Legislative Building
Queen's Park
Toronto, ON M7A 1A1
Tel: 416-325-1941
Fax: 416-325-3745

Premier of Quebec
Édifice Honoré-Mercier, 3e étage
835, boulevard René-Lévesque Est
Québec (Québec) G1A 1B4
Tel: 418-643-5321 / 514-873-3411
Fax: 418-643-3924 / 514-873-6769

Do you know if the manufacturer of your dog's food tests on animals? Even some pet food companies test on animals! The same type of cruel, abusive, lethal research that I talked about above! If you would like to make sure that the pet food products that you are buying are not tested on animals (including on dogs)... 

A  - if you live in North America, you can click here to see a list of pet food companies that DO NOT test on animals.

B - if you live in the UK, you can click here to see a list of pet food companies that DO NOT test on animals.
If you would like to see a comprehensive list of companies that manufacture many common household and personal hygiene products that DO test on animals just click here. You will be shocked to see how many of the products that you use daily have been tested on animals!

If you would like to further action to stop Pound Seizure and the Class 'B' Companies who purchase dogs to sell for research/testing you can visit this site to sign petitions and learn more.
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Article and graphics by Karen Rosenfeld.

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