Press release: Happiness is Pets
Happiness is Pets, a retail pet store franchise in Chicago’s northwest suburbs, becomes the first pet store to require a new, higher standard of care for dog breeders that significantly raises the quality of care for dogs in a breeding environment. Canine Care Certified is a demanding set of requirements developed by the director of Purdue University’s Center for Animal Welfare Science in collaboration with numerous veterinary and academic experts to address the physical and mental health of breed dogs. The program requires specific nutrition, veterinary care, genetic screening, housing, handling and behavioral accommodations for dogs, such as exercise, socialization and enrichment.
Happiness is Pets, based in Naperville, IL., sought out the program because it wanted to go above and beyond the mandates currently required by the United States Department Agriculture (USDA), the entity that oversees commercial dog breeders in the U.S. Happiness is Pets has worked for almost a year to make sure all its breeders are in compliance.
“Nothing is more important to us than the safety and happiness of our dogs, and not just of the puppies we sell but of their parents,” says Ronald Berning, owner of Happiness is Pets. “Canine Care Certified is the gold standard. We are committed to requiring that all the breeders we work with follow its protocols.”
Dr. Candace Croney, director of the Center for Animal Welfare Science and the developer and author of the Canine Care Certified program, said this decision by Happiness is Pets serves as an important model for the industry, given its position as an industry leader when it comes to dog welfare. “Happiness is Pets’ choice to require the program represents ‘ethics in action’ and is helping to make a real difference in the lives of these dogs.”
According to Dr. Croney, who holds a joint appointment at Purdue University as professor of animal behavior and well-being in the College of Veterinary Medicine and professor of animal sciences in the College of Agriculture, adhering to Canine Care Certified protocols is not a small commitment of time or resources. Another component of the Canine Care Certified program is a commitment to re-home breeding dogs after they’re retired. Breeders taking part in the Canine Care Certified program are audited by Validus, the largest certified animal welfare accreditation company in the United States.