(NewsUSA) - Many wonderful organizations focus on finding homes for dogs in shelters, but one dog breeder is on a mission—to promote smarter dog breeding and fewer dogs in shelters to begin with.
“Prevention is the key to avoiding canine suffering and reducing the burden on shelters and rescues,” says Kate Dalman, a Crystal Lake, Illinois, breeder of German Shepherds. Dalman’s goal is to improve the competitive and largely unregulated world of dog breeding by educating breeders on best practices.
Dalman, the owner of Herzog German Shepherds and founder of the nonprofit Herzog's Heroes, has established the Herzog Conscientious Breeders Alliance (HCBA). The Alliance, named for her first German Shepherd, is open to those who work with any dog breed.
The Alliance’s current goal is a year-end campaign to raise $20,000 to launch a first-of-its-kind breeder directory that will help create transparency and accountability in breeding programs.
“Current breeder databases allow breeders to pay for higher rankings,” says Dalman. “Our algorithm is completely transparent, and it will change how people choose the breeders they work with.”
Dalman and CEO, Mary Lanckhoff, are currently working to establish breeder guidelines and collaborating with rescue communities to curb unscrupulous breeders and reduce the number of dogs who end up in shelters.
The breeder guidelines will encompass the latest industry standards, genetic diversity recommendations, and responsible puppy placement strategies. The HCBA training program currently in development will teach breeders ways to minimize their footprint on the shelter population.
"These guidelines will make unscrupulous breeding practices far less lucrative for breeders trying to cut corners and make a quick buck exploiting dogs," says Dalman. "On the other hand, dedicated breeders will receive recognition for their work."
The directory will allow people looking to purchase a puppy to search for breeders with good reputations, and to identify breeders with bad reputations. "This will enable people to search a breeder before deciding to work with them and it will prevent unscrupulous breeders from continuing to fly under the radar," Dalman says.
Dalman and her colleagues continue to encourage breeders to join the HCBA, establish best practices to minimize their impact on the shelter community, and mentor up-and-coming breeders.
“We want to recognize breeders doing their part, but also lift up those breeders who need help,” she emphasizes. “This will create a higher breeding standard for everyone, which is what we want for dogs everywhere."
Your donations can help meet the end-of-year goal to launch the breeder directory! For more information, visit About 1 — Herzog's Heroes (herzogsheroes.org).