Doggy dos and don'ts: Rules around breeding, boarding and transporting dogs updated
P.E.I. code of practice for dog breeders, daycares and boarders gets first update since 2007
A new edition of the code of practice for dog breeders, daycares and boarders expands on rules around breeding, transporting and tethering.
Island animal-welfare expert Alice Crook, who helped create the new edition, says it's the first time the code has been updated by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association since 2007.
It will be used by anyone investigating complaints about poor treatment of a dog, along with P.E.I.'s Animal Welfare Act, said Crook, coordinator of the Sir James Dunn Animal Welfare Centre at the Atlantic Veterinary College.
"For your average person who has a dog or two and is caring for them under normal kind of conditions, they aren't likely to be affected much by this code of practice," she said.
"If there are concerns and a complaint is laid or someone has concerns about the way an animal is being cared for, then the Humane Society will go and assess and they will use this code as a reference."
Crook says the updated code includes more on responsible breeding, including not breeding dogs with traits that will give the animals a poor quality of life — for example, British bulldogs with severe breathing troubles.
Tethering difficult to enforce
It also expands on end-of-life care, illness and injury, and how to transport animals. Nursing puppies must be transported with their mother, for example, and not mixed with puppies that are not part of the same litter. And dogs that are ill or may exhibit aggression should be kennelled separately.
As for tethering, Crook said those rules are difficult to enforce so it's more about educating dog owners. The code says dogs can't be tethered in their primary enclosure for the majority of the day, and cannot be tethered for more than 30 minutes from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.
"Tethering is a difficult area to address because it's recognized that dogs are social creatures and they should not be just left for extended periods of time tethered in the backyard, for instance, without any kind of interaction," she said.
"But it's a difficult area to actually regulate so there's definitely education involved in the code of practice."
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With files from Laura Chapin