Floyd and Susan Martin, owners of Chestnut Grove Kennel, a random source Class B animal dealer, have been charged by the U.S. Department of Justice with conspiracy, identity theft, mail fraud, and making false statements. The charges stem from a 2009 investigation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which alleges that the Martins illegally obtained hundreds of live dogs, who were then sold to research facilities for hundreds of dollars each. If convicted, the Martins face up to 50 years in jail and $1 million in fines.
Commenting on this case, United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, said “This kind of alleged conduct constitutes a cruel fraud on dog owners and mistreatment of animals as well as showing a flagrant disregard for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s program to ensure that such animals are treated properly and safely.
While AAVS applauds legal action against Chestnut Grove Kennel for the outrageous behavior outlined in the allegations, there are five other random source Class B dealers currently under USDA investigation, and some of their cases have been languishing for years. Last September’s Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the failures of USDA’s enforcement against random source Class B dealers, preceded by the report of a special National Academy of Sciences panel concluding that these dealers are not needed for federally-funded research, points to a need for decisive action.
It is time for Congress to pass legislation that eliminates random source Class B dealers.
AAVS is asking past sponsors of the Pet Safety and Protection Act, Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Doyle and Hawaii Sen. Daniel Akaka, to re-introduce that legislation, and end the notorious Class B dealer business. Congress needs to shut down the shady business that sells former companion dogs and cats to research facilities.
Use the form below to write to your Senators and Representative and ask them to support Rep. Doyle’s and Sen. Akaka’s re-introduction of the Pet Safety and Protection Act, and do everything they can to see that it is passed without delay.
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