Purdue Canine Care Certification Changing Hearts and Minds About What We Owe to Dogs

Friday, March 25, 2022

Photo courtesy of Dr. Candace Croney

The Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine has reached an important milestone in animal welfare by approving its first 100 Certified Canine Care (CCC) dog breeders. Purdue’s CCC program, which sets rigorous, science-based, expert-reviewed requirements for breeders, is poised to become the benchmark for canine wellness assurance.

As the demand for dogs and puppies increases, consumers may inadvertently seek out a new pet from an irresponsible source without seeing the dog, meeting the breeder, or knowing what questions to ask or how to evaluate the answers. The CCC program offers an evidence-based solution for breeders and pet owners.

A dog jumps for a ball
Photo courtesy of Dr. Candace Croney

“This program does the ethical and scientific homework for the client,” said Dr. Candace Croney, professor of animal behavior and welfare and director of the Center for Animal Welfare Science at Purdue’s Colleges of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine. . “It allows people to make an informed choice about a breeder’s commitment to animal welfare when trying to bring a healthy, happy dog ​​into their home, and it helps to identify and to support good breeders, rather than puppy mills that completely ignore animal welfare.

CCC standards for adult dogs and puppies exceed current regulations and ensure that breeders care for the physical, genetic and behavioral health of their dogs. The standards are divided into five pillars of care for nutrition, veterinary care, housing, handling and exercise.

“What we’ve created here – along with a third-party auditing system that is widely recognized as best practice in pet insurance – sets a precedent for the US and global pet industries and pet families. pets, and should be a huge point of pride for Purdue and the State of Indiana,” said Dr. Croney. She created the first standards of care in 2013 based on existing and ongoing research. Dr. Croney developed them in collaboration with academic leaders and practitioners in animal science and veterinary medicine who have expertise in various canine welfare sciences.

The program evolved in response to requests from Indiana Amish dog breeders to improve their operations, which were publicly criticized. Members of this underserved population make up the majority of certified breeders to date. They were open to doing things differently once given tools and knowledge, Dr Croney said.

A poodle stares at the camera as she is held by a girl wearing a bandana in her hair
Photo courtesy of Dr. Candace Croney

Breeders who voluntarily become certified distinguish themselves as high-quality breeding facilities that provide state-of-the-art care. Lonnie Wagler, the first CCC breeder, has already seen positive results from the program. “Once we followed the standards, we saw puppies and parents who were much more social and no longer had trouble settling right into loving homes,” Wagler said.

“I rate the success of the program on the response of our puppy families, and it’s very positive in raising the bar for everyone involved,” said CCC breeder John Troyer. “It’s really going to be a game-changer.”

These breeders and other CCCs reflect a commitment to transforming their industry with the support and leadership of the Purdue Center for Animal Welfare Science. “Purdue’s history of leadership in animal welfare is well-known and long-standing,” Dr Croney said. “Because we are a land-grant university and have well-established expertise in animal welfare science, we can lead and translate science to end users through outreach. Best of all, the research results and feasibility of the program are supported directly by the participating breeders. It’s the Extension model perfectly in play.”

Matten Schwartz, CCC 100and breeder, hopes others will follow. “It’s something all breeders should be doing,” Schwartz said. “I look forward to meeting the 1,000and breeder!”

Nancy Alexander, Purdue Agricultural Communications | [email protected]