The Real Time Canine II

After spending 2 years writing the Real Time Canine, the adventure continues with The Real Time Canine II. Read along as I look for just the right puppy to continue the experience. After false starts with Tim and Jed, I am currently training young Tam, and Spot, which are both off to a strong start. Please visit the RTC II to read about training sessions as they occur.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Beware the Bunchers

I had never heard of such a thing. Have you? Bunchers who supply an endless stream of animals to USDA licensed Class B Dealers who in turn sell to research facilities and schools such as Colorado State, University of Missouri and Oregon State. Referring to a shadowy but legal supply chain called "random sources," Class B dealers and their Bunchers can collect animals from "Free to You" ads, animals shelters, auctions and flea markets, or they can simply steal them out of your back yard.

Apparently these Bunchers can be quite cunning and use poisoned meat and females in heat to attract strays off the street, or they have even been known to bring children as camouflage when they show up at your door to collect their "free to a good home" puppy. They have stolen dogs temporarily tied in front of a store while the owner shopped. In the case of Arkansas' Chester Baird, his wife Patsy and 2 daughters, Patricia and Jeanette, more than 125 dogs were finally confiscated from their notorious Martin Creek Kennels after an investigation spanning years. 12 were found to have been stolen and returned to their homes. Sneaky, thieving Bunchers!

Well, if there's a Class B, there must be a Class A, right? Makes sense. Sure enough. Class A dealers breed and raise animals on their own property for sale to the research facilities. This seems less insidious than stealing the dog temporarily tied in front of Albertsons, but not necessarily so.
They too can be notorious in the way they house and maintain their animals and the stories are too numerous and too tragic to recount here. No, I'm not going to get into an argument about the ethics of research and testing on animals. That lofty discussion is above my pay grade. Suffice it to say that my opinion is no matter the end result, animals should be raised, kept and cared for humanely with sufficient space, heat, light, food and water, veterinary care and basic interaction. I assure you that's not the case with the Bunchers.

What you can do: The US Pet Safety and Protection Act was recently re-introduced in Congress. It prohibits Class B dealers and their bunchers from selling animals to research laboratories and has been kicking around for over 10 years. It's time to pass the thing and place a much needed safety net under our beloved animals. As a nice aside, it would put the class B guys and the bunchers out of business and Missouri could then return to being called the "Show Me State," instead of the "Steal Me State," a nickname given by animals rights activists as a direct result of Buncher activity there.

The ASPCA has made it simple for us to show our support for the measure. Just visit their
animal advocacy page, and fill in a short form. They will send it automatically to your Senators and Representative. It just doesn't get any easier than that, and maybe while you're there, you will make a donation to my favorite charity, with my thanks.

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