HBO's Dealiing Dogs

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Postby Purple » February 20th, 2006, 10:15 am

HBO's Dealing Dogs is on tomorrow night...the following is from the IDA e-mail:



"C.C. Baird was America's most notorious dog dealer. For years he supplied the country's research labs with thousands of animals. Some of these dogs were strays, others were suspected to be stolen pets. One fearless animal rights group was desperate to shut down Baird's multi-million dollar operation. It finally succeeded in placing one of its agents undercover for six months inside his Arkansas kennel to videotape the hideous crimes committed against the dogs. This is the story of that harrowing investigation and its historic outcome.

Each year, 42,000 dogs are sold to veterinary schools and research labs by Class B dealers, who are required by federal law to buy the animals from pounds, shelters and small breeders and to treat them humanely. However, many Class B dealers violate the law. DEALING DOGS exposes the abuses that took place at one of America's most notorious Class B dealers - Martin Creek Kennel in Arkansas. "

http://www.hbo.com/docs/programs/dealingdogs/index.html



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Postby Purple » February 20th, 2006, 2:53 pm

Denise Flaim wrote in Newsday today:

Denise Flaim
Animal House

The antithesis of 'a good home'
Feb 20, 2006

You will never leave your dog alone in the yard again.The HBO documentary "Dealing Dogs," which debuts tomorrow at 10 p.m., puts an undercover camera lens on a sleazy world where beloved household companions can be snatched up to be experimented on in cold steel cages, and dogs are shot in the head as casually as you order a "half-caff mocha macchiato."

Its lead character is C.C. Baird, a good ole boy from Williford, Ark. A pastor at the Church of Christ, Baird tended to a different flock most days: a compound of up to 600 dogs called Martin Creek Kennel. Licensed as a Class B dealer by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which allowed him to buy and sell animals, Baird supplied universities and laboratories with dogs for medical research.

Filmed surreptitiously by "Pete," a sunglass-wearing animal-rights activist who worked at Martin Creek for more than six months, the footage documents what he calls "a little bit of hell on earth": The kennels are cleaned with high-pressure hoses, saturating the freezing, sometimes malnourished dogs and sending excrement flying into food bowls and water dishes. Housed four to a kennel, the cramped canines fight each other, sometimes to the death; the stiffened corpses are tossed on the "ex-dog" pile, then covered with a board.

In one scene, a worker refuses to tend to a dying beagle because he had been late for an Easter egg hunt; by morning, the dog joins the growing pile. In another vignette, a Martin Creek employee explains how heartworm-positive dogs are shot and gutted so the valuable worms can be sold to researchers.

Last Chance for Animals, the animal-rights group that undertook the investigation, visits the trench-lined field where the dogs are butchered. (Actually, they trespass, not out of character for actor-founder Chris DeRose, who has done jail time for entering animal-research labs without permission.) A knife lies atop a blood-stained table, the surrounding grass littered with internal organs. In the nearby trench, maggots writhe over heaps of dead German shepherds and beagles and Labs.

Through it all, a well-fed Baird swaggers, haggling at Mississippi flea markets for dogs he buys for $15 and $20 each, then resells to biomedical researchers for $250. Here we meet "bunchers," shadowy figures who obtain animals in questionable ways Baird doesn't inquire about, though the Animal Welfare Act requires Class B dealers to document the origins of animals they acquire.

"We have quite a few ways of picking those pooches up," chuckles one buncher, adding that rich residential neighborhoods are a favorite of some of his colleagues. Responding to "free to a good home" ads in newspapers is another.

If you manage to stomach "Pete's" video diary of blood and neglect and general inhumanity, there is a karmic payoff: After the Arkansas attorney general looked into the case - an investigation that took years - Baird and his wife had their licenses revoked in 2005 and were fined $262,700 - the largest civil penalty ever levied against a Class B dealer under the Animal Welfare Act. Baird also surrendered 700 acres of property worth more than $1 million, including his home and kennels.

But offscreen, there are plenty more places where outrage deserves overnight parking privileges. While Baird was, in the words of the scatalogically prone "Pete," "the biggest, baddest, -- B dealer in America," he was hardly the only one. The budget-battered USDA is hard-pressed to adequately inspect and monitor all the nation's C.C. Bairds. "Pete" might again give up veganism in an effort to look the part and infiltrate another Class B dealership, but he wouldn't have to if federal oversight were anywhere near adequate.

The buck shouldn't stop there, however. Class B dealers would not exist if they were not meeting a demand. What of the universities and research organizations that purchase these animals? Ethical arguments over animal experimentation aside, shouldn't these corporate and educational institutions go so far as to check and inspect the suppliers of their research animals? Don't they have an ethical obligation to ensure that the dogs they are experimenting on, and in some cases killing, are not someone's beloved companion?

As for Baird, who has since resigned his pastorship, he is due to be sentenced this winter on the criminal charge and faces up to 10 years in prison and a $1.2 million fine.
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Postby cheekymunkee » February 20th, 2006, 3:18 pm

I had been waiting for this to come on but I had forgotten what day. thanks for the reminder!
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Postby Purple » February 21st, 2006, 8:38 pm

:bump:
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Postby cheekymunkee » February 21st, 2006, 11:07 pm

I've already turned it off, I can't watch it. :(
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Postby Fear_the_Sheeple » February 22nd, 2006, 12:22 am

Wow. :(

I didn't want to watch it because I knew I would feel how I feel now... so... deflated. I mean, it's awesome that this guy ended up paying for it, and the dogs currently in his "care" got homes... but there is just so much abuse of animals that so many people just don't care about. So much suffering animals have to go through at the expense of humans, it's just awful. All those dogs go through their whole lives is suffering, and that's happening to millions of dogs worldwide. *sigh*

Thank goodness for the few good people who care enough to sacrifice themselves for the sake of animals. We all know they need all the help they can get. I really appreciate having people around me who understand.
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Postby turtle » February 22nd, 2006, 1:40 am

I don't have HBO so I could not watch it...

While I am glad this one dealer was busted and paid up, I am sickened to know that there are thousands more like him making money off of the suffering of other living things.

Does a microchip really help save your dog from such a fate as going to the research labs? I have heard that they are supposed to scan for chips and will not take any dogs with chips. But then I have also heard that shelters and the research labs do not always scan the dogs.

Sad stuff...
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Postby JCleve86 » February 22nd, 2006, 3:44 am

Ugh. First BSL talk around here, and than that movie. What a despressing freakin' day. Watching those dogs...I had to refrain from picturing my dogs in those situations because if I did, I'd have burst out crying. Those poor babies. How hard is it to provide basic care...to give half a crap about the dogs? My A&P instructor worked in a research lab and I remember her half complaining about the universities having to pay 300 for mutts from shelters and the like. How cruel can you be? At least show some respect for the animals...Jesus.
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