Most dogs used in research funded by the NIH are obtained from Class A dealers. A smaller number of dogs are supplied by Class B dealers. Some dogs are even obtained as a result of “pound seizure,” the practice of selling or releasing dogs and cats from a pound or shelter to a research, testing or educational facility.
Class A dealers provide dogs that are sometimes referred to as “purpose bred dogs” because they are bred specifically for use in research.
Class B dealers are sometimes referred to as “random source” dealers because they are not legally required to divulge the origin of the dogs they sell. The dogs might have been found on the streets, obtained through pound seizure, or even stolen from back yards. Some might have been obtained from online sources such as Craig’s List where dogs are offered “free to a good home.” Because of these and other factors, the NIH has a plan “to Transition From Use of USDA Class B Dogs to Other Legal Sources.”
Regardless of where these dogs are obtained, none of them should be subjected to the constant fear, pain, suffering and maddening isolation of a laboratory.