New Hope for Responsible Breeders
When it comes to combating substandard breeders, the new voluntary breeder certification program introduced by Purdue University is a better alternative to pet sale bans.
As an industry concerned with the welfare of dogs and that understands the importance of caring, quality breeders, we can finally look at the end of the long tunnel we are in and feel good that the light we see is not an oncoming freight train. Instead, it is the light of reason and common sense. It is, finally, a defense against the mindless, but somewhat well intended, current “solution” to puppy mills—pet sale bans.
As more information is collected, it has become very clear that pet sale bans have no impact on puppy mills. In fact, they are creating an unregulated black market for people to acquire dogs. They are, quite frankly, a big problem.
Until now, all we have been able to do as an industry is to argue against these bans one painful episode at a time. We have spent a lot of time arguing against misdirected emotion and false “facts,” appealing to people who have already made up their minds. But now we have a solid program that will give us what we need to turn things around—something to finally allow us to go on the offense and be proactive in supporting breeders.
Purdue University’s Center for Animal Welfare Science has announced a comprehensive, unprecedented science-based program called Canine Care Certified. It is the product of several years of research into the best breeding practices for the health and welfare of puppies. It is an impressive, voluntary certification program that will serve as a guide for breeders, with standards that go well above and beyond those currently in existence. Even more important, it will be a resource that anyone looking to acquire a puppy from a breeder can use to make sure that they are dealing with a quality breeder who cares for their puppies and maintains the highest standards of care.
Please take the time to check out the website caninecarecertified.org and get a feel for this program. Make sure you do whatever you can to promote this excellent plan to eliminate the issue of puppy mills and ensure a high-quality, caring supply of dogs as we move ahead.
Finally, we can see the light and feel good about what lies ahead for caring, quality breeders.
Bob Vetere, is chairman of the Pet Leadership Council, and president and CEO of the American Pet Products Association.