R&R Research Adds to List of Violations

August 16, 2009


According to the United States House of Agriculture (USDA) inspection report, R&R Research has added two new violations in 2009 to its long list of violations

March 17, 2009

A dog was acquired from a third-party, who stated she had gotten the dog 7-8 years ago from Greenville, MI.  R&R Research was told to stop accepting any dog or cat that was not born and raised on the property of those surrendering the animal and from those who do not hold a current and valid dealer license.


July 6, 2009

Three dogs were acquired from an individual, and the house number was not included on the acquisition information. R&R was reminded that each dealer shall make, keep, and maintain records which fully and correctly disclose the address of the person from whom dogs were acquired.


R&R Research's numerous violations over the past five years have mostly involved the taking of animals from the general public. Specifically, there were three violations on this issue in the past three years, plus other violations.  Because these violations regarding the unlawful obtainment of animals continue to occur, Lake Haven believes it is appropriate for the USDA to revoke its license. 


What can you do?


If you haven't already, click here to urge the USDA to shut down R&R Research.  


New!  Click here to ask the 11 members of the Michigan House Agriculture Committee to set "Koda's Law - House Bill 4663" for a hearing and vote.  If passed, "Koda's Law" would ban pound seizure from class b dealers in Michigan altogether. 



July 23, 2009

click here for printable version     




(Newaygo, MI). Prince, a two-year-old Shepherd and Australian Shepherd mix, is listed on Lake Haven’s website (www.lakehavenrescue.org) as their featured pet available for adoption. Prince was originally turned into the Montcalm County Animal Shelter. Lake Haven, a local animal rescue group, planned on rescuing Prince from the shelter. But before that could happen, Prince was taken by class b animal dealer, R&R Research.


Photo: Prince, rescued from R&R Research


Lake Haven Director, Cheryl McCloud, states Montcalm’s shelter policy entails that a new arrival is available for adoption to the public on its first day after the required hold period; rescues are then allowed to remove an animal on the second day; and on the third day, a research dealer is allowed to remove an unclaimed animal. R&R Research, however, did not wait until the required third day to remove Prince. Because of that, “Prince was doomed for a life of experimentation,” says McCloud. However, through much effort, he was released from the animal dealer and is now in the care of Lake Haven. “He was saved from a life no animal should ever have to endure.”


Rescue groups are now desperately trying to save another dog, Soup. Soup is an English Setter that was surrendered to the Montcalm County Animal Shelter by her owner after being hit by a car. Her foot was injured, and the owner could not afford to have it fixed. “Little did they know, she would end up in a dog lab,” says McCloud. “One of my problems with the Montcalm County Animal Shelter has always been they do not disclose to those dropping off animals that there is a good chance their animal will go to a lab.”


Laurel Barrick of Rolling Rescue, a transport rescue, had made arrangements to have Soup taken to the vet. From there, she was to be transported to Michigan English Setter Rescue, a Port Huron group which specializes in English Setters. This had been pre-arranged with Montcalm County employees. However, like Prince, Soup was also snatched up by the research dealer before the rescue had a chance to save the pooch.

Photo:  Soup, removed from shelter by R&R Research

McCloud says R&R Research owner, Jim Woudenberg, “took Soup from the shelter even though he knew the dog had a home. To me, this shows a lack of integrity.” As for the shelter staff, she says, “One has to question why they would send these dogs off for a torturous existence when there were rescues lined up. What could possibly be their motive? Many people are trying to get Soup back—except the people who are paid to shelter and protect her, the Montcalm Animal Shelter Director and her staff.”

Montcalm commissioners voted to end R&R Research's controversial contract with Montcalm County. The

contract expires on August 1st. However, despite public outcry and R&R's long list of animal welfare violations, the class b dealer still has a five-year contract with Gratiot County that does not expire until 2014.


The number of class b animal dealers has dwindled over the past several years (from 100 to 9) as the biomedical community has largely moved away from using random source dogs and cats, and educational institutions have increasingly turned to non-animal teaching methods. Four of the nine dealers are currently under intense USDA (US Department of Agriculture) investigation, including R&R. R&R has continued to violate the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), including several incidents where animals were obtained from illegal sources.


Meanwhile, the fate of the English Setter, Soup, is still up in the air. “She deserves the opportunity to have her injury fixed and be available for adoption,” McCloud asserts. “This is not a dog that belongs in a lab being experimented on. This is not an unwanted animal. This is an animal that would make a wonderful pet for someone.”


Lake Haven is a non-profit volunteer-run animal rescue shelter dedicated to the care and adoption of homeless and/or injured dogs, cats, kittens and puppies in the West Michigan area. Lake Haven is a recognized 510(c)3 organization.



Featured Dog Was in Hands of R&R Research

July 20, 2009


Lake Haven's current featured dog is Prince. Through no fault of his own, Prince ended up at the Montcalm County Animal Shelter.  From there he was taken by class b animal dealer, R&R Research, one day before he was available for adoption. Prince was doomed for a life of experimentation. However, through much effort, he was released from the animal dealer and was saved from a life no animal should ever have to endure.


Although Montcalm commissioners voted to end R&R Research's contract with Montcalm County, that contract does not expire until August 1st. Furthermore, despite public outcry and R&R's long list of animal welfare violations, the class b dealer still has a five-year contract with Gratiot County that does not expire until 2014.


The number of class b animal dealers has dwindled over the past several years (from 100 to 9) as the biomedical community has largely moved away from using random source dogs and cats, and educational institutions have increasingly turned to non-animal teaching methods.  Four of the nine dealers are currently under intense USDA (US Department of Agriculture) investigation, including R&R.  R&R has continued to violate the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), including several incidents where animals were obtained from illegal sources.


What can you do?  The USDA has the power to shut down R&R Research. If you would like to send a message to the USDA about R&R, click this link to fill out a simple form on the American Anti-Vivisection Society's (AAVS) website.  

Support Two Bills to Help Michigan Pets

June 1, 2009  


It is with much happiness and relief that we learned last month class b dealer R&R Research will no longer be allowed to take animals from the Montcalm County Animal Shelter to sell for experimentation.  Unfortunately, this practice will go on until August.  The only counties where this practice will take place after August is Gratiot and Mecosta. 


Our focus must now be to end pound seizure statewide and to make sure all shelters in Michigan enact humane euthanasia practices.  Two bills aim to do just that.  If you haven't had a chance to support Koda's Law, please do so now.  Koda's Law, which if passed, will ban pound seizure from class b dealers in Michigan.  Also, please support the Humane Euthanasia Bill, which would ensure that when the state's unwanted, sick or unadoptable shelter animals have to be euthanized, the procedure will only be done by injection of sodium pentobarbital, which is the most humane method accepted by the American Veterinary Medical Association.  Sign the petitions below and then pass the message on to family and friends.


Click Photo to Support the Humane Euthanasia Bill

Click Photo to Support 'Koda's Law'









Want to help even more?  Print this form and bring to your veterinarian and/or local business owners and ask them to support Koda's Law and the Humane Euthanasia Bill. 


Montcalm Meeting/Rally Monday, April 27th

April 20, 2009  


On the eve of the Montcalm County Commissioner's meeting to determine whether or not to renew the county's contract with R&R Research, the USDA reveals the class b animal dealer is under investigation yet again.  This time, it involves animals R&R Research improperly accepted.  This recent investigation can be added to R&R Research's long list of violations, which can be read here.   Footage has also been posted on R&R Research's deceptive practices in 1993.  See below to read the full article and to see the WOOD TV footage.


Attend the April 27th Rally.  We are asking for your help one last time.  The commissioners will meet for a final time on this issue Monday, April 27th.  Your presence is needed!  If you can, please attend the April 27th rally from 11AM until Noon (the board meeting is at 1PM).  This peaceful rally will be in support of ending pound release and to acknowledge all of you who helped get us this far.  Please click here to download the informational flyer.  For car pool information from the Grand Rapids area, please contact Gwen at gwens@lakehavenrescue.org.  Hope to see you there!


USDA Investigating R&R Research - THE DAILY NEWS -2009  


R&R Research Decision Looms: Commissioners Consider Shelter Plan April 27 - THE DAILY NEWS - 2009


Flash Back: WOOD TV Report on R&R Research's Deceptive Practices - 1993

Send a Message to the Montcalm County Commissioners

April 13, 2009  



The Humane Society of the United States of America has set up a simple and easy-to-use form that you can use to send a message to the Montcalm County Commissioners regarding their contract with R&R Research.


A Blue Ribbon Committee was put in place to evaluate the county's contract with R&R.  The committee recently filed its decision recommending that Montcalm County not renew its contract with the class B dealer.


At an April 27 meeting, County Commissioners will discuss whether to renew this contract. They have the final decision.  We need your help to ensure that pets at the Montcalm County Animal Shelter will no longer be sold for experimentation. 


All Michigan residents can fill out and submit the form to automatically send a message to all nine commissioners. Be sure to personalize your message so that it stands out, and will have a greater impact.


As you know, we have recently sent a note out about Koda's Law, which would ban Class B Dealers taking pets from shelters in Michigan altogether.  Until that happens, we must continue to work at the county level to end this practice.   




Support 'Koda's Law' - House Bill 4663 and Help End Pound Seizure in Michigan

April 7, 2009  


This bill prohibits the practice of pound seizure in Michigan.  Pound seizure involves the taking of shelter cats and dogs for experimentation.  If this bill becomes law, it will become illegal for R&R Research to obtain animals from the Montcalm County Shelter, as this practice is illegal in most states.


Only 4 counties in Michigan still allow shelter cats and dogs to be given to USDA Class B dealers for resale to research facilities (Montcalm, Gratiot, Mecosta and Osceola).  Pound seizure betrays the public's trust in a shelter and is often kept a secret.  People who surrender their pets, or turn in stray or abused animals to shelters, often do not know that the shelter may practice pound seizure. 


This bill is named after a 3-year-old Malamute named Koda, who was surrendered to the Gratiot County Animal Control Shelter on June 13, 2007.  Unbeknownst to his owner, Koda was never allowed any opportunity to be adopted.  Doodles from Montcalm was facing the same fate, but was pulled from the Montcalm Shelter by a Lake Haven volunteer.    





This bill will not end legitimate medical research.  If a facility chooses to utilize live animals, they can still obtain pets from USDA Class A dealers (that breed pets for research), from in-house laboratory breeding facilities, or from people who willingly donate their pet to research.  This bill simply stops former pets arriving at shelters from being used in experiments.

How to Support the Bill:


(1) Sign the online petition here (must be 18 years of age or older and a registered voter): http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/649021463.  


(2) Contact your local House Representative and ask them to support House Bill 4663.  You can find your representative and their contact information by using this link


(3) Forward this information to as many people as you know.  Make it a goal to send to at least 10 people.  



Additional Information - Pound Seizure Myths and Facts (from American Humane):


Myth: This legislation will prevent life saving biomedical research.

Fact: This bill will still allow research and educational facilities to obtain animals purposefully-bred for research from Class A dealers.


Myth: Research facilities need to conduct testing on live animals in order to improve the health of humans.

Fact: In recent years, research facilities have moved away from live animal research toward simulated or in-vitro (test tube) research techniques.  And an even greater number are choosing not to use shelter animals supplied by Class B dealers.


Myth: There is not sufficient evidence that stolen animals have ended up with Class B Dealers or in research facilities.

Fact: USDA inspections include a "trace back" procedure to verify the source of random source animals.  Moreover, a documentary by HBO in the Spring of 2006 called Dealing Dogs exposed the illegal actions of C.C. Baird, and Arkansas Class B Dealer.  To see the violations list of Montcalm County's own Class B Dealer, R&R Research, click here.


Myth: The USDA currently has sufficient resources to properly regulate Class B dealers.

Fact: The USDA admits it spends too much of its limited resources in an attempt to regulate 10 random source Class B dealers who sell dogs and cats for research.


Myth: This bill will put Class B Dealers and research facilities out of business.

Fact: Random source Class B Dealers and research facilities will still be able to conduct business and legally obtain dogs and cats from other non-random sources.


Myth: Since most municipal animal shelters are overcrowded and must euthanize thousands of pets each year, allowing these shelter animals to be utilized for life saving research is a good use of resources that communities support.

Fact: Communities in Michigan are outraged when they learn that their local shelter provides animals for experimentation, which is why only four counties in Michigan provide live animals to Class B dealers.


Myth:  The shelter animals taken by the dealers for research are unwanted animals and not family pets anymore, as stated by one Michigan Class B Dealer.

Fact: Shelter cats and dogs that are given to the Class B Dealer are healthy and adoptable pets.


Myth:  Some shelters can obtain an economic benefit from selling unwanted cats and dogs to Class B Dealers.  This will help during an economic crisis, particularly for Michigan.

Fact: No shelter in Michigan currently utilizes the Michigan law that allows a maximum $10 fee for each cat and dog sold into research.


Click here to read the full bill language

Click here for a one-page fact sheet

Click here for the full myth-and-fact sheet


Committee Recommends to End Contract with R&R Research

March 26, 2009


It is important to note that while the committee voted to recommend ending the contract with R&R, the recommendation will now be sent to the full county commission, which will have the final say.  A county commissioner told 24 hour News 8 the committee's decision was not binding and the commissioners would not necessarily follow the group's wishes.  Help keep pressure on the Montcalm commissioners.  Visit www.cccmontcalm.org to help.


Click here to post a comment 
Click here to post a comment

Public Opposes Animal Research Contract

Controversy involves R&R Research

March 13, 2009



Click here to post a comment

Click here to read R&R's list of violations





Lake Haven Director: The Truth About R&R Research

March 11, 2009

I am writing in response to the article (Lakeview Daily News) on Commissioner Patrick Carr’s visit to Belvidere Township to address the presence of R & R Research (a Class B Dealer) whose contract with Montcalm County to take animals from the Montcalm County Animal Shelter is under examination.

Commissioner Carr stated people are being helped by life saving medical research when these animals are sold by R & R Research.  In truth, Commissioner Carr does not know where Montcalm County Animal Shelter dogs and cats wind up because Jim Woudenberg of R & R Research refuses to tell anyone to whom he sells them.  Woudenberg has admitted however, he has no idea what happens to them after he sells them.

The Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine has position papers explaining why shelter animals cannot be used in legitimate biomedical research because of their unknown genetic background and/or poor health.  They point out that because these dogs and cats are less expensive than purpose bred animals purchased from Class A Dealers, these animals are used in teaching demonstrations, surgical practices and redundant toxicity and product testing; all uses of which can be replaced with non-animal alternatives. 

R & R Research had been regularly invoiced by an Iowa university which asked for credit for dogs they had purchased.  These dogs arrived vomiting, dehydrated, listless, with pneumonia and upper respiratory infections, some pregnant, and so ill that they could not be used in their experiments.  It is important to note that the Iowa university and recently, the University of Michigan, both have discontinued its use of using live dogs in their surgical training class, becoming part of more than 90 percent of medical schools surveyed that use an alternative training method. It is also important to note that formerly, after the training sessions at U of M, the animals were not adopted out, but killed.

Mr. Woudenberg has had a long history of violations with the USDA (click here for list), which included the illegal procurement of 18 stray cats from Howard City in 2005, in direct violation of USDA rules.  After paying a fine in excess of $3000, he was caught again in violation of that same rule in 2007 and 2008.  He was cited by the attorney general’s office for advertising himself as Animal Control and Animal Shelter in the yellow pages in the telephone book for Montcalm County.  They ordered him to “cease and desist” for being misleading and deceptive.   

Deb Bankus (former Newaygo County Shelter Director in 1995) filed complaints with the MDA and Department of Pharmacy because animals were suffering and screaming in agony while they died from his euthanasia practices.  The list goes on and on. 

Commission Carr mentions Woudenberg keeps animals longer than required, giving owners more time to find their pets.  Yet the USDA has cited him over and over for not holding animals the required number of days and was in fact, fined $2000 for this very offense.  It was stated that Woudenberg wants to help owners find their pets and yet, during an investigation (aired on WOOD TV8), he lied about the whereabouts of a pet.  This very incident culminated in legal action against the County and R & R Research. 

The big question is why would Montcalm County Commissioners expect the public to pay for an animal control/shelter facility for Woudenberg to use as his personal animal warehouse to make his fortune.  Woudenberg’s gross reported income in 2007 alone was $183,099.

The shelter belongs to the public.  Give it back to them!

Cheryl McCloud
Lake Haven Founder and Director

Help End Pound Seizure Statewide

March 11, 2009

The Michigan Humane Society has specifically asked Lake Haven supporters and those interested in ending pound seizure statewide to sign up for their Legislative E-List at www.michiganhumane.org.  Enter your email address at the top of the page and then click "Join the Legislative Action Network" to learn more about pound seizure and other bill introductions and movements in Michigan.  Lake Haven has vowed to help end pound seizure in Michigan any way possible.

Pound Seizure Facts

What is Pound Seizure?
Pound seizure is the act of purchasing dogs, cats, and other animals from animal shelters for sale to research institutions for research, experimentation, testing or teaching purposes.

Who is involved?

Class B Dealers (like R&R Research in Montcalm County) are licensed by the US Department of Agriculture and purchase animals from animal shelters, auctions and other random sources so that they can resell them to research facilities.

What is the Michigan Humane Society’s position on pound seizure?
The Michigan Humane Society believes that animal shelters should not provide animals for research. The community should be able to trust that if a companion animal is lost or surrendered to a shelter that it will not end up as a research subject. Selling an animal into research is a violation of the communities trust.

What can I do to help?
Write a letter to your local government officials informing them about pound seizure and requesting that they end the practice. Don’t assume that your local officials know what pound seizure is. Being helpful and polite is the best way to help get positive change for animals, so make sure to provide them with information on pound seizure and offer suggestions for change. For more information, see Lake Haven's special page dedicated to the pound seizure practices happening in Montcalm County.

University of Michigan Ends its Live Dog Lab

March 2, 2009


Six weeks ago, Lake Haven reported that the University of Michigan was using live dogs in their trauma training course.  Some of these dogs were delivered from the Montcalm County Animal Shelter via R&R Research.  Thousands of concerned citizens took action, including many friends of Lake Haven—and the school listened!  Last week, the University of Michigan announced that it will use only simulators in the Advanced Trauma Life Support course.

More than 20,000 e-mails were sent to University of Michigan administrators, asking them to use non-animal training methods in their Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) course. The school’s Graduate Medical Education Committee recently met and decided that it agrees.  No dogs or other animals will be killed in the school’s ATLS course.  Your hard work helped end animal suffering and improve medical education in Michigan. Thank you!

Click below to read a statement by the university.

Trauma training course will use simulators only - University of Michigan

Montcalm Shelter Receives Failing Marks 

February 26, 2009



After touring the Stanton shelter Feb. 18, the Humane Society of Kent County's medical director graded the shelter a 2 out of 5 during her hour long assessment at Wednesday's animal shelter ad hoc committee meeting.  This is the same shelter that has a contract with class b dealer, R&R Research, that was set to expire at the end of January 2009.  Instead, the county commissioners voted to extend the contract for another six months and form the committee to examine the contract. 





Suggested improvements include:

(1) Develop and implement a mission statement. "The community is currently unclear of the shelter's role in the community because of the controversy with euthanasia practices and pound seizure," Swift said.


(2) Make the kennel environment more pleasing to the animals.


(3) Create a new kennel technician position to provide for one employee who oversees all operations in the shelter and would get to know the animals better so they could help more with adoptions.

(4) Using a microchip scanner to see if animals have chips implanted in them with identifying information.


(5) Build an outdoor dog run for staff members to take the dogs while the kennel area is being cleaned and for members of the public to see dogs they may want to adopt.


(6) Begin providing basic medical care and vaccinations at the facility.


(7) Dispose of a set of "cat tongs" that could break a cat's neck while it is being moved.


(8) Train employees to communicate with the community and rescue groups better.

Click below to read the full article in the Greenville Daily News.  Please leave a comment with your views on what is happening in Montcalm. 



Join the March 5 Demonstration to End U of M Dog Lab 

February 23, 2009


You can still help end the University of Michigan’s use of live dogs for trauma training. In recent weeks, supporters have sent more than 19,000 e-mails to university administrators asking them to end the use of live dogs in the school’s Advanced Trauma Life Support course. However, the decision-makers at the University of Michigan don’t seem to be getting the message that most of these courses are taught with advanced medical simulators—not with live animals.


That’s why PCRM will lead a demonstration at the University of Michigan (U-M) on March 5, just two weeks before the school’s next scheduled Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) course. Please join them and bring your dogs!


What: Physician-led peaceful demonstration at U-M

When: Thursday, March 5, 11 a.m.

Location: Southeast corner of S. State St. and N. University Ave., Ann Arbor, MI

Parking: Please use nearby public parking


Signs will be provided. Please make sure to dress warmly. No RSVP is required


Please send this information to your friends and family within driving distance of Ann Arbor and ask them to join you at the demonstration.


Documents obtained by PCRM under the Michigan Freedom of Information Act reveal that U-M is using lost or surrendered pets from Michigan shelters for its ATLS course (including Montcalm-affiliated R&R Research). At U-M, this course involves cutting open live, anesthetized dogs and practicing emergency medical procedures. After the training session, the animals are killed. All of this happens even though the school owns a validated non-animal teaching method as part of its state-of-the-art medical simulation center.


While a handful of institutions like U-M continue to use live animals, the American College of Surgeons, the ATLS oversight body, has approved non-animal models like the TraumaMan System, Synman, and human cadavers for these courses. Across the United States and Canada more than 90 percent of ATLS courses are taught using only human-based simulators.


Please visit SaveMichiganDogs.org to learn more. If you have any questions, please contact Ryan Merkley, Manager of Humane Education Programs at rmerkley@pcrm.org.


Montcalm Committee Continues, R&R Research Owner "Pleads the Fifth"

February 21, 2009


The Blue Ribbon Committee meetings continue to go on in Montcalm concerning the shelter's contract with class b dealer, R&R Research, that was set to expire at the end of January 2009.  Instead, the county commissioners voted to extend the contract for another six months and form the committee to examine the contract.  Lake Haven has these important points to make about this committee and R&R Research:

Montcalm's Shelter Director, Patty Lentz, has been quoted as saying she wants an end to Montcalm's contract with R&R.  Why are the commissioners not following the recommendation of the director they appointed? 


Chairman of the Board of Commissioners, Patrick Q. Carr, appointed the owner of R&R Research, Jim Woudenberg, as a member of the committee despite an obvious conflict of interest in seeing the contract for his private business continue.  However, Patty Lentz, Montcalm's own director of the animal shelter was not invited to join. 


An argument is being made that these animals are going for life-saving medical research.  However, Mr. Woudenberg sells animals anywhere he chooses without accounting for where they are actually going (or if they are being euthanized, how this is performed).  When asked, Woudenberg simply refuses to disclose the information. We do know he trades with other animal dealers and can sell for toxicity testing, ballistics testing, etc.  Another important point is that pound animals CANNOT be used in bonafide medical research because of their unknown history and diseases.  


The Montcalm citizens and others in the public have spoken out against this contract - packing the county courthouse to standing room only at the January 26 commissioner meeting, which was supposed to determine the fate of the contract.  Why are Montcalm's commissioners not listening to their constituents? 


Commissioners have stated that opinions from those in surrounding counties do not matter.  However, actions within Montcalm do severely effect surrounding counties.  With citizens afraid to use their own county shelter, unwanted animals are brought to shelters in surrounding counties, causing a burden on already stressed shelters. 


Please read the most recent articles below from the Greenville Daily News and make your voice known by leaving a comment.  These comments are being used to gauge public perception of what is happening in Montcalm.



Update on Dog Saved from Montcalm

February 13, 2009


From Mary, Macie's new owner: 


With all the recent news about the Montcalm Animal Shelter, I thought I should send an update on Macie. I remember that Cheryl rescued Macie from Montcalm in August, and I adopted her soon after.


You may recall that I had lost my beloved eight-year-old Aussie Lab to a spinal stroke in April, and Macie had lost her beloved owner/Mom in the summer. I decided that although neither of us could replace the one that was gone, we would be good for one another. And I thought Macie would be great for Mattie, our little Daisy dog who was heartbroken without her big sister.


Well, Macie has been a doll. Nicely trained, incredibly eager to please, and just sweet through and through. We haven't had a single day of trouble. Oh, except for the skunking incident in November... and we survived that. She is a bit of an escape artist, but she never goes far before returning to our doorstep (and I'm getting smarter about the storm door, which she figured out how to open in the first week). In just six months, she's become a cherished member of our family, and we feel very fortunate that Lake Haven saved her from a very different fate.


Thanks for the great work you do on behalf of animals who just need loving homes.




Montcalm County Shelter Committee Update

February 13, 2009


A committee has been formed in Montcalm County to examine the contract it has with class-b animal dealer, R&R Research.  In a questionable move, the county has appointed R&R Research owner, Jim Woudenberg, to the committee despite his obvious vested interest in keeping R&R operational in Montcalm. 


Please click below to read the articles from the Greenville Daily News.  Please comment on the articles to give your point of view.  The committee is reading these comments to help gather public input. 







Montcalm Commissioners Vote to Continue Selling Animals to Research for at Least Another Six Months Despite Public Outcry

January 29, 2009


Over 100 concerned citizens packed the Montcalm Commissioner's meeting Monday, January 26.  Despite the public outcry to end relations with a class b animal dealer in Montcalm, commissioners instead voted to form a committee to review the shelter's policies and procedures. 


Lake Haven Director, Cheryl McCloud, was featured in an article about the meeting in the Grand Rapids Press stating she felt the formation of a six-month long committee to review the practices was "a stall tactic."  McCloud successfully pressed Newaygo County officials to end a similar relationship with R&R.  Montcalm's agreement with R&R was set to expire in February.


See WOOD TV and WZZM's coverage of the meeting below.


Read More Press Coverage:

Montcalm County Studies its Contract With Animal Research Supplier; Takes Heat From Community - The Grand Rapids Press

Shelter Critics Aren't Excited About Panel - The Daily News

Animal Shelter Foes: "Here We Are" - The Daily News

A Better Image May Stimulate More Help - The Daily News

Gratiot County Votes to Continue to Give Pets to R&R Research

January 29, 2009


Sadly, Gratiot County Commissioners voted to continue giving pets to class b dealer, R&R Research.  Because of this vote, many animals dropped off at the shelter in Gratiot will either be sold to research facilities via R&R Research, gassed in a C02 barrel or euthanized by R&R Research via an intra-cardial “heart stick”.  Gratiot and Montcalm are two of only four counties in Michigan still giving shelter pets to research.


The vote was five-to-two, with commissioners Mark Knowles, David Eldridge, Jan Bunting, Bill Dilts, and Roland Merignac voting to give unclaimed pets at the county shelter to the class-b research dealer, R&R Research, owned by Jim Woudenberg.


Click the link below for a detailed article.


County Commissioners Renew Contract with R&R Research - Gratiot County Herald


Pets Sold to University of Michigan for Medical Experiments - What You Can Do

January 14, 2009

R&R Research, which currently has a contract with Gratiot and Montcalm counties, resells shelter animals to research facilities.  The University of Michigan is now coming under fire for buying pets from R&R Research and using them for Advanced Trauma Life Support classes.  The U of M is among a dwindling group of schools still using live animals.  Over 90% of courses nationwide are using approved alternatives.  As pointed out in the articles below, Lake Haven believes such learning is better accomplished on human cadavers and dummies. 


What's more, formerly owned house pets make cruel research subjects.  Placing such pets in a laboratory environment after coming from a home is beyond traumatizing. Please - before you drop your pet off at a shelter (especially in Montcalm, Gratiot, Mecosta and Osceola counties), ask if they give their pets to research. 


If you want to stop animals from being sold to research facilities in Gratiot and Montcalm counties, write to the contacts below.  They will vote on this matter before the end of January.


Brian Smith, Gratiot County Administrator

The Gratiot County Courthouse

214 East Center Street

Ithaca, Michigan 48847

Phone: 989-875-5261


Chris Hyzer, Montcalm County Controller

Administration Building

3rd Floor

211 W. Main Street

PO Box 368

Stanton, MI 48884

Phone: 989-831-7300

Email: chyzer@co.montcalm.mi.us


And if you want to send a message to the University of Michigan, please fill out a simple form set up by the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine. 


Click below to read the full articles in the Detroit Free Press, the Ann Arbor News and The Michigan Daily.


January Crucial Month for Animals in Montcalm/Gratiot Counties

January 8, 2009

To all of you who voiced your opinions to the Montcalm County Commissioners recommending not to use a CO2 barrel or to continue to perform heart sticks; and to end that county’s relationship with class b dealer, R&R Research, I thank you so very much.  Your dedication to animal welfare has had a tremendous impact. As you may know, WOOD TV reported that the Animal Control Director is now on board with humane euthanasia and recommended NOT to renew the county’s contract with R&R Research!  What wonderful news! 


However, it is the commissioners who have the final vote this month. In fact, there is a Montcalm Commissioner meeting on Monday, January 26th at 1:00 p.m. in the old courthouse, downtown Stanton.  The vote on the contract with R&R Research will likely happen at this meeting.  Please try to attend.  The more support we have, the greater our chances to end this once and for all. 


And while our eyes have been on Montcalm, it was recently brought to my attention that the exact same situation is happening in the county next door: Gratiot.  Just as in Montcalm, many animals there are either: (1) gassed in a CO2 barrel, (2) sold to research facilities via R&R Research, or (3) euthanized by R&R Research via an intra-cardial “heart stick”. 


Gratiot's contract with R&R Research is also set to expire at the end of this month (January 2009)! 


We are running out of time before these crucial votes. If you cannot attend meetings in Montcalm or Gratiot, please contact the commissioners via the representatives below.





Cheryl McCloud

Lake Haven Director  

Commissioner Correspondence:

Brian Smith, Gratiot County Administrator
The Gratiot County Courthouse
214 East Center Street
Ithaca, Michigan 48847
Phone: 989-875-5261

Chris Hyzer, Montcalm County Controller
Administration Building > 3rd Floor
211 W. Main Street
PO Box 368
Stanton, MI 48884
Phone: 989-831-7300
Email: chyzer@co.montcalm.mi.us

Montcalm Shelter Director On Board with Humane Euthanasia - More Work to be Done

November 25, 2008 


Director of the Montcalm County Animal Shelter, Patty Lentz, has made it clear she wants to do the right thing and humanely euthanize animals via lethal injection versus the cruel practice of euthanizing animals in a Co2 barrel.  What's more, she has publicly stated she opposes pets at the shelter being sold to research via the class-b animal dealer operation, R&R Research. 


R&R Research used to operate out of Newaygo County before their board of commissioners voted to end the practice of selling shelter animals to research.  Montcalm is only one of four Michigan counties still engaging in the practice.  In addition to all the negatives about selling animals to research (see this article), it has put an unnecessary burden on surrounding shelters and rescues, including Lake Haven, because they have had to take in animals from Montcalm since many citizens there are too afraid to use their own county shelter.   


Click here to read the WOOD TV 8 article, and see the newscast below.


It has been a long road to get this far, requiring continuous pressure on the county from animal shelters, rescue groups, veterinarians and concerned citizens from surrounding counties.  A special thank you goes out to Lake Haven volunteers, participating veterinarians and other friends of Lake Haven who have been working so hard on this very important issue.  But the work is not done yet!  Petty Lentz can only recommend change; she does not have the power to make it happen.  While it looks as if humane euthanasia is soon to be embraced, the Montcalm County Commissioners still have to vote on the research contract up in February 2009.  Their vote will determine whether or not R&R Research can continue to take animals from the shelter. 


The time to act is now!  Write the commissioners at the address below and tell them YES to humane euthanasia and NO to animals going to research.  Attend the Montcalm Commissioner meetings December 1st and 15th at 1PM and tell them your thoughts in person.  For more information on these meetings or to car pool from the Grand Rapids area, contact Gwen at gwens@lakehavenrescue.org.  



Montcalm Commissioner Correspondence:

Chris Hyzer, Montcalm County Controller

Administration Building

3rd Floor

211 W. Main Street

PO Box 368

Stanton, MI 48884

Phone: 989-831-7300

Email: chyzer@co.montcalm.mi.us


Foster Homes Needed

October 12, 2008 

Be a hero!  Lake Haven is looking for more volunteers to temporarily foster animals until they are ready for adoption.  In doing so, you will be saving a life.  The more foster homes we have, the more animals we can save from being euthanized.  Fosters are needed now for Lake Haven's regular adoption program as well as to increase our efforts in rescuing more cats and dogs from the Montcalm County Animal Shelter (see article below). 

What Is Expected of Our Fosters? 

(1) You will need a spare room away from other pets to foster cats/kitten and a fenced-in yard (preferred) for dogs/puppies. 

(2) Provide food, shelter, love (if you cannot supply needed food or supplies, Lake Haven can help);

(3) Provide transportation to necessary veterinarian visits (Lake Haven pays for visits);

(4) If possible, take digital photos of your foster pet for placement on the Internet; and

(5) Transport to PetSmart adoption events. 


How Do I Get Started? 

Simply fill out our online volunteer form.  Indicate if you are interested in fostering cats or dogs.  You will then be contacted and screened to make sure you have the right accommodations.  You can then request the breed/size/type of animal you're most comfortable fostering.  Arrangements will then be made to get that animal to you.  Already a volunteer?  Be sure to update your volunteer form and indicate your interest in fostering.  Any questions?  Email Kathy at kathyb@lakehavenrescue.org.    


Lake Haven Volunteer Makes Montcalm County Shelter Crisis her Mission

October 9, 2008 

Lake Haven volunteer, Gwen Stromp, wrote an open letter to readers in the current October issue of Cats & Dogs Magazine (available now at veterinary clinics throughout Michigan). Gwen has made it her mission to help end the appalling practices which are taking place at the Montcalm County Animal Shelter. With the help and support of Lake Haven, she has personally rescued seven animals from the shelter that would likely have been used as research subjects or gassed in a barrel alongside other animals.  These lucky (and grateful!) pets include Pumpkin (cat), Zelda, Rex, Pee-Wee, Buddy, Doodles and Lucy (all dogs).

Click here to read Gwen's letter featured in Cats and Dogs Magazine.  


Get Involved!  (1) If you would like to help stop what is happening in Montcalm County, please contact Chris Hyzer, Montcalm County Controller, and tell him how you feel.

Chris Hyzer, Montcalm County Controller

Administration Building

3rd Floor

211 W. Main Street

PO Box 368

Stanton, MI 48884

Phone: 989-831-7300

Email: chyzer@co.montcalm.mi.us

(2) Then, download an informational flier here. Print it! Make copies! Spread the word!

(3) For even more ways to help, contact Gwen directly at gwens@lakehavenrescue.org.

Help Hold Montcalm County Commissioners Accountable for Change

August 20, 2008

In the latest issue of Cats and Dogs Magazine (available now at your local veterinarian clinic), Montcalm County Animal Shelter Director Patricia Lentz and County Commissioner Patrick Carr are interviewed about the dismal situation there.  The overwhelming majority of animals taken to that shelter are either gassed in a 55-gallon barrel with other animals or are given to a dealer, who then sells the animals to research facilities for profit.  In the article, both Lentz and Carr sound optimistic about changing these practices.  But it remains up to the citizens of Montcalm County and Michigan as a whole to make sure that happens.


Read the full article by clicking here.  Then read the letter Lake Haven Founder, Cheryl McCloud, sent to the Montcalm County Commissioners reminding them we are paying attention and will hold them accountable.  Finally, visit www.cccmontcalm.org to learn how you can get involved.


Zelda (photo above) was saved from the Montcalm County Shelter by a Lake Haven volunteer.


Dear Montcalm County Commissioners,

Montcalm County Commissioner Patrick Carr was interviewed in the August 2008 issue of Cats and Dogs Magazine.  To those who wish to stop the Montcalm County Animal Shelter from giving animals to R&R Research and to those who want the inhumane euthanasia policies at the shelter to stop, he said:  “We hear you; we’re going to fix the problems.”

We hear you too, Mr. Carr, and are glad you agree these gut-wrenching problems are worth fixing. 

In the same article, new Animal Control Director Patricia Lentz said of the 55-gallon drum that is used to euthanize animals – much like you’d burn garbage in: “Basically the animal passes out and dies.  It’s not very pleasant.  I want it changed…  I want to go with lethal injection, and I want it done here by my staff.  I feel it’s the humane way.” 

Commissioners:  I expect you back the recommendations of your newly-appointed Director. 

The citizens of Michigan will be waiting for all the Montcalm Commissioners to be held accountable in fixing these problems and backing the recommendations of your new Director.  Come February 2009, we will be there to make sure you fulfill your promises. 


Cheryl McCloud
Director and Founder
Lake Haven


Special thanks to Cats and Dogs Magazine for allowing us to post the original article.

Lake Haven Featured in Cats and Dogs Magazine

Lake Haven is featured in a generous three-page spread in the July issue of Cats and Dogs Magazine. The article focuses on Lake Haven’s founder, Cheryl McCloud, and the organization’s dedication to homeless animals as well as the importance of spaying and neutering pets.

Also included is Cheryl McCloud’s letter to the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners, which was posted in our own “news and views” section urging the commissioners to make humane policies and to stop giving their homeless pets to research.

You can read the Cats and Dogs Magazine article about Lake Haven here.

You can read Cheryl McCloud’s letter to the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners by clicking here.

Special thanks to Cats and Dogs Magazine for giving us permission to post this article. Pick up your free copy of Cats and Dogs Magazine today!

Lake Haven’s Founder Responds to Montcalm County Shelter Crisis

May 5, 2008

For those of you not aware of this grave situation right here in Michigan, please click on the links below to read two articles on this issue and then read the letter Lake Haven’s founder sent to the Montcalm County Commissioners.

Commission hears animal shelter complaints (Wood TV)
Dozens more complain about animal shelter (The Daily News)

Dear County Commissioner:

In light of the concerned citizens and negative publicity that has been bestowed upon the Montcalm County Animal Shelter/Control (and upon the county itself), you as a commissioner know how gravely important it is to make the right decision when it comes to changing county policy and the importance of empowering the new director of the Animal Shelter/Control to carry out humane actions. All of Michigan is now watching to make sure Montcalm takes charge and does what is right for the county—its citizens and its animals.

The critical issues concerning the shelter, as you know:
(1) The alliance it has made with Class-B animal dealer Jim Woudenberg, who personally profits from the sale of shelter animals to research,
(2) The inhumane and antiquated way animals are euthanized for “free” by Mr. Woudenberg, and
(3) The exorbitant amount of animals that are either sold to research or euthanized instead of being adopted.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, “Class B dog and cat dealers are brokers who acquire animals from a variety of sources—including ‘pounds,’ flea markets, and newspaper ads—and then sell them to research institutions or veterinary schools. These dealers, putting profits before pooches, are regularly cited for violating the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and have long been a cause for concern for many.”

Mr. Woudenberg is determined to obtain animals in whatever way he can and has somehow hijacked the Montcalm County Animal Shelter/Control—using it as his own personal warehouse for animals—a lucrative money-making venture for him funded by the taxpayer. The stronghold Mr. Woudenberg has over the Montcalm County Animal Shelter/Control is astounding—especially when he has a proven history of violation:

Newaygo County ceased relations with Mr. Woudenberg in 1995 after the shelter director testified about him performing extremely cruel and unethical euthanasia. Newaygo citizens were appalled by his actions and demanded change. Concerned commissioners listened and responded.

In 1997, he was advertising himself as “animal control” in the phone book. Only when the attorney general’s office ordered him to cease and desist did he stop his misleading and illegal practice.

A film taken by Henry Erb of Wood TV 8 in 1997 clearly shows Mr. Woudenberg removing numerous dead animals from a gas barrel one on top of the other when animals are supposed to have a stethoscope on them to make sure they are dead. How many have gone to the landfill still alive?

During an Ingham County Board of Commissioner meeting in 2003, a policy was detailed which stated those dropping off animals would be given a consent form if they would like their animal to go to research. Mr. Woudenberg was charged with upholding this policy. As of April 2008, no such form is being used in Montcalm, allowing residents to unknowingly “donate” their animal to research.

  • In 1997, he was advertising himself as “animal control” in the phone book. Only when the attorney general’s office ordered him to cease and desist did he stop his misleading and illegal practice

USDA records indicate in 2006 that R&R Research (owned by Woudenberg) was reimbursed $196,272 for the sale of 621 dogs and cats. Another sad statistic states that in 2007, 75% of the dogs and cats that entered Montcalm’s Animal Shelter were either gassed in a barrel (a cruel and outdated form of euthanasia) or given to R&R Research. If the shelter had adopted out just 816 dogs and cats (instead sold to R&R), $16,000 in revenue would have been generated for the facility.

We need a change! In the Internet age, information travels fast and furious and having someone gas animals in barrels for free isn’t really free if you value your reputation. You, as a county commissioner, can participate in this change by (1) the cessation of gassing animals in barrels, a very horrendous way for any living thing to die; and (2) to allow the pubic to adopt animals instead of giving them to Mr. Woudenburg to make a personal profit. Without these changes, it will be difficult to hire a credible, qualified director to undertake a shelter where county policy dictates that animals are either gassed in barrels or given to a B-Class Dealer to make money for himself.

I pray the shelter will be returned to the taxpayers of Montcalm County and that animals that need to be euthanized will at least be given a humane death.

Cheryl McCloud
Director and Founder of Lake Haven


Plenty! Contact the Montcalm County Commissioners and tell them to enact humane euthanasia policies at their animal shelter and end their relationship with Class-B dealer Jim Woudenberg.

Montcalm County Board of Commissioners:

Marcia Walker
811 Hawthorne Ct.
Greenville, MI 48838
(616) 754-8236
email: lloydwalker@chartermi.net

Tom Lindeman
8060 S. Backus Road
Greenville, MI 48838
Email: tblindeman@sbcglobal.net

Ron Retzloff
786 S. Senator Rd.
Crystal, MI 48818
(989) 235-6827
email: comish@casair.net

John Johansen
3503 S. Monroe Rd.
Greenville, MI 48838
(616) 754-5375
email: johm@pathwaynet.com

Carl Paepke
18419 Stanton Rd. NW
Pierson, MI 49339
(616) 636-5692

Ron Baker
PO Box 91
Howard City, MI 49329
(231) 937-5465
email: rbaker68amx@hotmail.com

Pat Carr
10397 Almy Rd.
Lakeview, MI 48850
(989) 352-8129

Roger Caris
8984 E. Deaner Rd.
Vestaburg, MI 48891
(989) 268-5875
email: rcaris@gccmha.org

John McCrackin
9682 Carson City Rd.
Carson City, MI 48811
(989) 584-3713

Home | News & Views | About Lake Haven | Veterinary Partners | How You Can Help | Join Email List | Contact Us

© 2009 by Lake Haven.
Lake Haven is a non-profit no-kill animal rescue shelter dedicated to the care and adoption of homeless and/or injured dogs, cats, kittens and puppies in the West Michigan area.  Lake Haven is a recognized 510(c)3 organization that is 100% volunteer operated.