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Animal welfare advocates believe… How Canine Care Certified addresses these concerns…
Existing regulations that set standards of care for dogs and puppies are too weak. Existing regulations have focused on meeting minimum expected practices. Canine Care Certified goes far beyond minimum standards to provide comprehensive requirements for breeder compliance across five pillars of care.
Existing standards make it legal to keep animals in deficient environments. Our five pillars of care specifically require that breeders provide safe, spacious and sanitary environments that provide dogs with enrichment, exercise, access to the outdoors and multiple flooring surfaces.
Standards sidestep issues related to genetic and psychological health. Our standards go beyond physical health to address the full well-being of dogs and puppies, including genetic, behavioral and psychological wellness.
Industry self-regulation has not worked. To date, industry self-regulation has not existed in a comprehensive or verifiable form. Canine Care Certified changes that with independent audits.
USDA’s housing rules are minimum standards that only meet basic needs. Federal regulations by nature set a minimum set of “one-size-fits-most” standards to ensure basic animal needs are met. Canine Care Certified goes much further. These standards should not only complement but exceed current USDA housing rules.
Hundreds of dogs should not be allowed to live their entire lives in small, stacked cages. Our standards do not allow stacked cages. They outline detailed housing and space requirements that allow dogs to comfortably rest, stretch, move around, interact with each other and use the resources provided to enhance the complexity of their environments.
There are no current requirements to assure animals are not confined at all times in cages. Canine Care Certified has specific and mandatory outdoor access, exercise and socialization requirements.
Existing standards are limited in their requirements for veterinary care. Canine Care Certified sets specific standards for regular veterinary care for prevention and treatment of illness and injury and promotion of health and well-being.
At the end of breeding, adult dogs are killed, sold or otherwise inhumanely treated. Adult dogs at retirement cannot be sold for research or at auction; breeders must follow established limits for retirement and retired dogs must be rehomed.
There should be limits on the number of times a female dog may be bred. Canine Care Certified’s standards, developed in 2013, set specific litter limits for female dogs.
The USDA inspection process inadequately enforces minimum standards. By instilling regular and independent audit processes and requiring successful audit completion, Canine Care Certified ensures enforcement of its standards.
There needs to be stronger public awareness and education about how breeders raise dogs and puppies. Awareness is critical among breeders and among consumers, and Canine Care Certified is designed to reach both audiences.
In most states, a breeding kennel can legally keep dozens or hundreds of dogs in cages for their entire lives. Canine Care Certified has no legislative authority as a voluntary program. However, it outlines specific space, housing and outdoor access requirements for participants. Breeders of all sizes may participate in the program if they successfully complete the audit process.
Consumers should buy from a humane, responsible breeder that has been carefully screened in person. Consumers should buy from a humane, responsible breeder that has been carefully screened to ensure adherence to high welfare standards for dogs and puppies. Canine Care Certified does this and provides transparency through audits. Breeders are also encouraged to be transparent with customers, including allowing in-person visits.
Breeders that sell directly to the public may not be required to adhere to USDA standards. Canine Care Certified applies to all interested breeders who choose to participate – regardless of size, location or type of business.
Pet stores should show paperwork identifying a puppy’s breeder and origin. Transparency is a core tenet of Canine Care Certified. All puppies and dogs are required to have complete, up to date paperwork that accompanies them.
Bills passed into law often do not contain all the protections that actually benefit dogs and puppies. Canine Care Certified sets much higher, more comprehensive standards than could ever be achieved through legislation or rule-making.
Simply passing laws is impractical. State laws with a patchwork approach are not effective in driving major industry changes that improve welfare outcomes for animals.
Dogs in puppy mills are kept in physically and emotionally damaging conditions with only the rudimentary basics. Canine Care Certified is geared to address dogs’ physical and behavioral needs. It addresses five pillars of care – which go beyond the basic physical necessities for animals of food, water and shelter – by including specific standards for behavioral well-being, such as socialization, enrichment and exercise.
Dogs should never be kept in small wire cages with no human companionship, toys or comfort. Agreed. Dogs should be managed and interacted with in a manner that keeps them clean, comfortable, healthy and happy. Canine Care Certified’s standards are based on ongoing research aimed at achieving these goals and continually improving dog comfort, health and well-being.