Choosing a Kennel Revisited

by Mary Haight on March 13, 2009

NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 11:  Dogs use a special do...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

In light of the recent tragedy at the Eastern Pennsylvania kennel, Pazzaazz, that killed 17 dogs when a propane tank exploded setting the kennel ablaze, it may be time to review how to go about selecting the right place for your precious furry friends.

As mentioned here in a 12/20/08 article, there are a lot of decisions that go into choosing a safe, professional kennel with a responsible well-trained staff prepared for various emergencies.  The staff should be able to articulate these plans to you showing evidence that such a tool actually exisits, and training is being provided. Kennel safety practices should be well understood before leaving your dog or cat.

There  is a non-profit group that sets standards for these facilities, the Pet Care Services Association, that provides a guidebook (pdf)that can help you assess if the facility is prepared for emergencies like fires, illness outbreaks, evacuation, and other disasters.  You can also see if the facilities you are considering are already a member at their link above.  This Association has rigorous standards of operations that member kennels are proud to adhere to.  You should also ask to see the business license if it is not out in plain sight, make sure the date is in force, and use the license number and date to check the city records for code violations if you can.  In larger cities you may be able to do this online.

The Better Business Bureau is a good source of information, and its less regulated online sister, Yelp, can also be helpful.  Your veterinarian may also be willing to suggest a couple of places.  Dog walkers often have business relationships with kennels, so keep that in mind. 

The ASPCA’s Emily Weiss, senior director of shelter research and development and animal behaviorist, suggests you read the fine print in any contract.  If the kennel wants to use their vet for emergencies, you may need to research who that is and determine their reputation.  It may be that they are located close to the shelter which could better serve your dog or cat.

Accidents can and will happen, but you will at least know you did everything you could.  Very cold comfort, but a comfort nonetheless. 

The pet industry is a rich source of income, says Weiss, and that often means corners are cut to increase the bottom line.  Make certain those corners have nothing to do with the proper care, feeding, and safety of your precious companion.

Thanks to dogblog for reminding me that when accidents like the one in Pennsylvania occur, repeating yourself is a good thing!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Previous post:

Next post: