Dogs and Cats

Dogs and cats - Photo by Taylor Bennett

Class B Dealers and Companion Animals

Random source dog and cat dealers, licensed “Class B” by the USDA, collect companion animals and sell them to research facilities. Many times, such animals are acquired via underhand means—including out right theft. Once in the dealer's hands, the animals are often kept in squalid conditions until turned over to the laboratories. AWI seeks to protect companion animals from this fate by bringing about a ban on the sale of dogs and cats by Class B dealers to research institutions. Our section on Class B Dealers provides more information on this practice and AWI’s efforts to end it.


Across the US, millions of dogs endure lives of confinement, chained outdoors in all weather with little or no reprieve. Education coupled with tougher laws can help bring an end to this form of abuse. See our chaining page for more on this issue and what you can do to help.

Traps and Companion Animals

Over 70 countries around the globe have banned steel-jaw leghold traps, which inflict terrible suffering on their victims. Unfortunately, the US isn’t one of them. To make matters worse, these traps—as well as other body-gripping traps—also pose grave danger to companion animals, particularly when they are hidden along wildlife trails used by people and their animals. For years, AWI has campaigned vigorously against cruel and indiscriminate trapping in this country and abroad. See our Companion Animals in Traps page for more information and links to published materials on the dangers posed by steel-jaw traps.

The Dog Meat Trade

While most Westerners view dogs strictly as companion or working animals and find the practice of raising and slaughtering dogs for food strange and unsettling, a large number of people in South Korea as well as in China, Vietnam, and the Philippines, consume dog meat. What is considered “normal,” of course, is often a matter of cultural perspective—especially when it comes to culinary practices and taboos.

Puppy Mills

Puppy mills are operations where people breed large numbers of dogs to sell in the commercial pet trade. They are also places where profits take precedence over animal welfare. Breeding animals typically spend their entire lives confined in small, barren wire cages. Click here to learn more about this sordid industry.

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