Archive for March, 2010

Spring is the “season of bunchers” – the unbelievably cruel people who travel, usually in vans or station wagons, and appear to be “family” – often with kids in tow.  Spring is the most favored time of year for these cruel people, however they will appear anytime of year that they have need of fresh stock.  Their cache of animals back at the backyard or basement lab is now running low.  They will cruise into an area and start with the local humane society and animal control facility, seeking free animals – knowing animal shelters are jammed up with animals this time of year.  All too often the children traveling with the bunchers plead for a free puppy or kitten – and often it works.  Next they look at the local newspaper and grocery store bulletin boards.  They have been known to take abandoned animals “off the hands” of veterinarians who have had animals left at their facilities for nonpayment of the vet bill.  They are looking for small animals, kittens, puppies, cats and small adult dogs.  They are the ‘Mom and Pop’ backyard product testers.  They are called Bunchers. 

These folks are the ones who contract with major corporations who manufacturer cosmetics, laundry products including bleach, detergent, dish soap, toilet cleaners, etc.  If you are interested in a list of the corporations who use animals in their product testing, simply go to  You will find a complete list there.  Research animals, those poor beasts who are bred and raised for research, have a clear identity; their background including genetics is fully known, the vaccinations, if any, are known, and the test results are predictable.  They are expensive to raise and the growing public awareness of animal testing is pushing corporations to outsource the “testing” to the nonprofessional, inexpensive and readily available bunchers.  The testers (or bunchers) could be your neighbors and, as the economy worsens, the numbers of bunchers/back yard testers can be expected to increase.  They carry out their horrific ‘tests’ on the animals they get from overburdened humane societies and animal control facilities – AND from well-intentioned folks who advertise “Free puppies (or kittens) to good home”.  While it is true that corporations, who still rely on animal testing for their products, maintain kennels for onsite testing, the trend has been to use the ‘Mom and Pop’ folks for the one-time testing, even though the test results are really meaningless since the history of these animals is unknown and their parentage (predisposition for certain traits), vaccination history and prior disease history are also unknown. 

They are animals of little value in the animal testing market but they are cheap to use and then simply dispose of.  They serve the purpose of convincing the FDA that the product in question is “safe”.  The message here is do not ever allow someone to take any animal from you personally or from an animal shelter or animal control facility unless you know for sure they intend to give the animal a permanent home as a loved and wanted pet.  Bunchers are very crafty in their trade and know which areas in their locale are best for ‘bunching’ the animals they need to do their torturous experiments on.  Two common examples are: Blow torches are used on kitten’s paws to see which kind of salve will soothe the skin blisters and the crying – the exact amount of time this takes is then reported to the corporate testing lab. P hotos are taken.  The kittens are then suffocated, that being the easiest, cheapest and least bloody way to kill them.  Results then pass on to the FDA. Bleach is funneled into the stomach of dogs, and the dogs must be fully conscience so that gastric acid interaction with the chlorine can be fully realized.  Often the dog’s vocal cords are cut to eliminate the sounds of the agony.  Again, the timing of the dog agony is noted, and then he/she is cut open (anesthesia is not given – or even considered) and the dog bleeds to death or dies from shock as his/her stomach is cut from its body to be turned inside out and examined for ruptures, boils, etc. Photos are taken and sent to the corporate lab for their research, and then on to the FDA. The corporation of both the chlorine bleach and the salve can now say in bright, bold letters in their advertising that their products are “NEW AND IMPROVED”, and the FDA smiles and nods in approval.  For those who care, beware of anyone who expresses an interest in kittens, puppies, cats and dogs that are not purebred. Bunchers want the castaway animals – they are cheap, usually healthier than purebred animals, have more “lasting power” and complain less [maybe they just never expected anymore from life]. 

Never, ever allow someone to take any animal unless and until their address, phone number, place of employment and family situation has been verified.  It is horrific enough for animals in the care of shelters and animal control facilities to never leave these places alive – but to unwittingly deliver them into the hands of bunchers is to doom them to a hell only Satan himself deserves.  It is far better to humanely euthanize an animal than to turn him/her over to bunchers.  There are certainly others who fall into the list of animal torturers, but this activity is legal as long as it is contracted and the “laboratory” is an extension of the corporate lab for which it operates. Remember: animals have no rights.  Only the owner determines the quality of life of an animal.  There are of course many illegal animal torturers:  Those who train dogs for fighting and greyhound racing come to mind, where kittens and puppies are routinely used as bait.  But the level of cruelty that good and kindhearted people allow unwittingly to be put upon the most helpless and innocent among us is nothing less than appalling.  It does matter to whom that helpless kitten goes.  It is worth the time and effort to thoroughly check it out. And it is up to all of us who care to get this message out to everyone. When you see the ad in your local paper, “free puppies/kittens to good home” – for heaven’s sake call the number and warn the well-meaning folks of what can happen to those kittens/puppies.  This is true for adult animals being given away as well. Demand that your local shelter and animal control facility implement serious mandatory rules and regulations that assure good quality homes for the animals they adopt out. Speak out. Stand up. Write letters to the editor of your local newspaper.  Take the time to call in to your local call-in radio shows you listen to.  Do for them what they can’t do for themselves.  Humane societies across the country need to seriously consider these facts when they elect to close their doors when there is ‘no room at the Inn’ due to their “No Kill Shelter” status.  There are fates far worse than death for far too many animals in our culture, and until such time as a good home can be promised to each and every pet animal in our country, we must accept the fact that all too often a peaceful and quiet death is the only answer. One may sleep nights after locking the doors on a No Kill shelter, but there are, guaranteed, thousands of animals in the custody of bunchers who got there because your shelter and others like yours turned them away – and they are not sleeping well at all.