Take Our Pledge

WHY A PLEDGE?

One of the primary functions of this page is to guide pet owners to the resources and professional services they seek for their companion animals. To do so, we wish to clearly articulate what they can expect from those professionals. We also hope to create a sense of community and solidarity among animal service professionals, enthusiasts, and caretakers who share similar philosophies.

TAKE THE PLEDGE

As a pet owner or animal care professional I commit to continually educate myself on best practices in the field, to work to ensure my competency as a good steward of the well-being of the animals in my care, and to pursue a relationship that acknowledges the sentience of non-human animals.

In taking this pledge, I commit to learn how to appropriately and safely use any training or handling tools I may employ and to leave tools and techniques that rely on fear or pain, including but not limited to shock collars, prong collars, choke collars, alpha rolls, pinning, or physical punishment such as hitting, kicking, pinching, or poking, out of my repertoire.

As a dog trainer or behavior consultant, I commit to adhere to the Least Intrusive, Minimally Adversive (LIMA)  or Humane Hierarchy approach to training and behavior modification. It is acceptable for me to develop my own philosophy that adheres to similar principles as long as it is free from the tools and techniques outlined above. I commit to fully inform the pet owners with whom I work about my techniques and their intended and potential impacts on the animals.

As a veterinarian or veterinary technician, I commit to learn and implement low-stress handling and/or fear free techniques in my practice and to ensure the animals in my care are free from the damaging effects of chemical restraints. I will do my best to ensure the least stressful visit possible for all animals visiting my practice and refer owners to muzzle training and desensitization techniques when indicated.

As a shelter or rescue worker or volunteer, I will partner with and learn from trainers who adhere to the approach outlined above and will myself use compassionate, safe, and humane handling techniques with the animals in my care. I will ensure that quality of life, including adequate and regular enrichment is part of my standard practice with each and every animal entrusted to me. I will communicate honestly and openly with potential adopters to the best of my knowledge about each animal’s needs and personality but will not limit that animal by straying from facts into assumption.

As a pet sitter or boarding/daycare facility, I will use compassionate, safe, and humane handling techniques with the animals in my care and will refrain from the use of the tools and techniques outlined above. I will ensure that regular enrichment and quality care is part of my standard practice with each and every animal entrusted to me. I will study dog body language as it is central to my profession, particularly if I facilitate social interactions among animals. I will be thoughtful in the facilitation of those social interactions and will ensure I know how to safely moderate them.

As a groomer, I will use low-stress handling techniques with the animals in my care and will take special consideration to ensure the grooming experience is safe, sanitary, comfortable, and free from fear.

As a pet supply store owner, I will not sell tools that rely on the use of fear or pain to make dogs comply. This means I will not stock shock collars, prong collars, choke collars, or electronic fencing nor will I advertise for trainers or other professionals who promote these services or techniques.

As a pet owner, I will seek to understand both the science of how dogs learn as well as who my dog is as an individual. I will provide a healthy diet within my means, ensure that my dog has regular access to toys and enrichment, and make sure I know how to properly use any equipment my dog wears and how to humanely teach basic skills to my dog such as sitting, waiting at the door, and walking on a leash. If my dog has behavior or health issues, I will seek the intervention and support they need to be successful through professionals adhering to the standards outlined above.

I make this pledge out of respect, empathy, and compassion and with the sincere intent to seek knowledge and information that can improve and enrich my relationship and interactions with the animals in my care.

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