In a piece written for Pet Age, the Director of Purdue University’s Center for Animal Welfare Science, Dr. Candace Croney, argues that Canine Care Certified not only helps improve the welfare of dogs, it may help improve trust among consumers as well.
Launched in 2016, Canine Care Certified is a voluntary certification program for breeders who want to demonstrate a higher quality of care for dogs and puppies. The program’s higher standards are based on those developed by Purdue University’s Center for Animal Welfare Science and peer-reviewed by animal scientists and canine welfare experts from around the world. Canine Care Certified is intended to help breeders strive for a higher level of care for their dogs, but, according to Croney, the program may also help resolve an emerging dilemma among prospective pet owners.
According to Croney, those looking to purchase a pet dog are increasingly concerned about the conditions in which dogs are bred and raised. This concern has led to many communities enacting bans on the sale of pets sourced from commercial breeders in an attempt to curtail puppy mills and other illegal breeders. Meanwhile, demand for purebred puppies continues to surge among those very same prospective pet owners — so much so that shelters and breeders are struggling to keep up. According to Croney, this creates an environment ripe for black market breeders seeking to capitalize on this increased demand.
As an alternative to pet sale bans, Croney suggests that programs like Canine Care Certified offer a better solution for ensuring that puppies and dogs are raised in safe, healthy environments. By raising welfare standards and encouraging breeders to adopt them, Croney argues that we can improve the welfare of dogs and puppies while also ensuring that there are enough dogs available to safely meet demand.
Research we conducted at Purdue University provides some insight here. An online survey of U.S. residents studied public perceptions of dog breeding and sourcing of dogs and related animal welfare concerns… [We found] strong support for regulation of breeders’ practices, specifically for mandatory compliance with best practices, breeder education and increased transparency of dog-breeding practices.
— Dr. Candace Croney, Director, Center for Animal Welfare Science, Purdue University