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May 13, 2010

Universities and Institutions Continue to Buy Pets from B Dealers

Class B dealers supply research laboratories with dogs and cats

The Humane Society of the United States

  • Many animals raised as pets are sold to research institutions and universities by Class B dealers. HSUS

Despite 40 years of scandal and ongoing evidence of shady acquisition practices and substandard care, some U.S. research universities and institutions continue to purchase dogs and cats from Class B dealers—middlemen who obtain pets from animal shelters, flea markets and other so-called "random sources."

Why would institutions like The Johns Hopkins University and Auburn University continue to support pet trafficking?

Research institutions and universities give various reasons for why they feel that dogs and cats raised as pets are appropriate for use in experiments, including large body size, advanced age, genetic diversity, and naturally occurring infectious disease, among others, according to a 2009 National Research Council report1. But what it really comes down to is money—the dogs and cats provided by Class B dealers are typically cheaper than those that can be obtained from breeders (Class A dealers). 

Ostensibly, the repeated failures of the Animal Welfare Act and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to prevent abuses by Class B dealers would make research institutions want to distance themselves from these operations. Instead, some are perpetuating the very practices that the Animal Welfare Act sought to eliminate when it was signed into law 40 years ago.

Time To Go

The vast majority of U.S. research institutions have stopped using dogs and cats obtained from Class B dealers. Approximately fifty research universities and institutions—less than three percent of all research institutions in the country—still purchase from these dealers.

Please join us in asking these institutions to sever their ties with the Class B dealer pipeline. Take action now »


1 NRC (National Research Council) Scientific and Humane Issues in the Use of Random Source Dogs and Cats in Research. Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2009.
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