The practice known as pound seizure (or pound release) is mandated under Ontario’s Animals for Research Act. This means that all dog pounds in the province can sell their lost, stray and abandoned dogs that have been held for at least 72 hours to registered research facilities. As a matter of fact, the act specifically states that pounds ‘must’ relinquish the dogs, if requested.
It is of course, difficult to find a new home for these dogs in and around Toronto or across the province within that short period of time. It may not even enough be enough time for a lost dog to be found by its owner – someone who may love the animal very much.
Dogs are sold to the research facility for $6 each (cats $2) although adoption fees are significantly higher. The low cost and easy accessibility due to the Animals for Research Act makes these animals attractive to researchers.
Most pounds do not notify visitors that lost pets in their facilities may be sold for experimentation. Members of the public are not allowed access to information about what becomes of these animals once inside a research facility – even if that facility is publicly funded. Nor are research facilities required to disclose whether they use animals.
Project Jessie hopes to put a stop to this practice. See Part 2: Animal Alliance of Canada seeks to end Pound Seizures