Class B Dealers Flunk Animal Welfare (Again)

It’s happened yet again, just as we predicted. Another USDA-licensed Class B dealer operation has been indicted by the federal government following a two-year investigation into purported illegal activities. The Pennsylvania dealers, Floyd and Susan Martin of Chestnut Grove Kennel, have been charged in U.S. District Court for their alleged illegal acquisition and sale of hundreds of dogs to laboratories for experimentation. If convicted, they could be fined up to a million dollars and imprisoned for up to 50 years.

In a news release announcing the unsealing of the indictment against the Martins, the U.S. Department of Justice asserts that “the defendants conspired to circumvent federal regulations… by stealing the identities of multiple individuals and falsifying federal documents.” U.S. Attorney Peter 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.”

Aside from the Martins, there are just eight other dealers still engaged in an outdated, notorious business supplying randomly acquired dogs and cats to research facilities. Of these eight, five are currently under investigation for possible violations of the Animal Welfare Act.