Pound Seizure: Shelters and Research Labs

by Mary Haight on October 16, 2015

Pound SeizureBefore I interviewed Allie Phillips in 2013( Animal Cafe) I had never heard of pound seizure. Once I knew about it, I couldn’t forget it. That municipal shelters could sell lost, relinquished, adoptable animals to research labs turns the concept of “shelter” on its head. Sadly, in the intervening years, nothing has changed.

Pound Seizure Laws by State

There are, depending on how you define it:

  • 19 States that have banned pound seizure, though only partially in two cases
  • 23 States that have no laws at all
  • 10 that allow the individual municipality to decide.

Oklahoma stands alone in requiring shelters to give up pets when research labs and universities ask. You can see more data on each State’s pound seizure laws here.

The US is not alone in allowing this practice, as Canada’s Animal Alliance related in an interview. While the EU has banned animal testing for cosmetics, recent news revealed by claiming a need to test for safety due to workforce exposure during manufacturing, some are making an end-run around the ban.

How To Advocate For Change

All of this tells us what we already knew in our heart of hearts: If we want this changed, it is up to you and me. Once we achieve this goal, as with any other goal met in animal welfare, we’ll need to fight to keep it in place.

This work requires that you know what to do and how to proceed without getting tripped up by red tape and closed doors. I’m happy to say that Allie Phillips’ Understanding Pound Seizure makes certain the time and effort you put in won’t be wasted. Here’s your blueprint.

You can listen to my interview with Allie on the podcast below, and read more on pound seizure and about the author at AlliePhillips.com.

Have you ever run into this practice at your local animal control? Now that you know about it, does any past experience make you wonder if that’s what happened? Please share.

(Thanks to 4Knines.com for sponsoring this podcast!)


  1. […] out this new interview with Allie Phillips, Senior Advisor to the White Coat Waste Movement about the horrifying […]

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