Koda’s Bill

Pound seizure is the practice of selling or giving shelter cats and dogs for research or experimentation. Named after a family’s three-year-old Malamute who was surrendered to a Michigan county animal control shelter in 2007, given to a Class B dealer, then sold to the University of Michigan where he died during a training class, “Koda’s Bill” would prohibit Class B dealers from obtaining pets from Michigan shelters. Michigan research and training facilities would still be able to obtain relinquished pets directly from shelters, if the pet’s owner has signed a waiver with the shelter indicating their permission.

Fewer researchers are using random-source animals: The vast majority of cats and dogs used in research come from breeders, not random sources, and a recent Congressional study found that random source animals from Class B dealers are not necessary for any federal research projects.

Growing public opposition to pound seizure: 17 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws banning pound seizure, and the practice is condemned by the National Animal Control Association, the Association of Shelter Veterinarians, and state and national animal protection organizations.

Poor animal care record by Class B dealers: Citing Congressional concerns of lost and/or stolen pets ending up in research facilities, USDA oversight of Class B dealers now includes quarterly on-site inspections. One Michigan dealer has received repeated USDA citations and is under federal investigation, and there have been several recent cases in which family pets, with identification tags, have been in the possession of Michigan random source Class B dealers.

Betrayal of the public trust: Michigan communities are outraged when they learn that their local shelter provides animals for experimentation. Taking these former family pets in this way flies in the face of the growing body of research on the human-animal bond, and it violates the role of an animal shelter as a safe haven for animals.