MUSH with P.R.I.D.E. (Providing Responsible Information on a Dog’s Environment) is the only organisation offering an internationally recognised industry standard, at present, in the sleddog world.
For that reason, it was important for us to baseline our kennel against 'PRIDE'S' stardards. Hence, we arranged a visit by our local vet to have our farm assessed against its recommended standards and guidelines (in other words, we took part in a Voluntary Kennel Inspection). We not only passed the standard required but exceeded the recommended standards in many ways. Hence, we gained their highest possible rating - Certification Plus.
This is the Sleddog Industry's current symbol of excellence and gaining it shows the emphasis we put on the care of our dogs.
This certificate shows that our kennel is:
More about MUSH with PRIDE
PRIDE was initiated in response to attacks on the industry by animal rights groups in the 1990s (primarily targeted at racing kennels and racing in general). Its response was to develop its own Sled Dog Care Guidelines including voluntary standards specific to dog yards and housing, feeding and watering, training and conditioning, basic health care, kennel sizes, whelping and kennel-raising, full life cycle planning (including a geriatric care plan for the animal following the conclusion of its time as a sled dog and end of life practices).
Members of Mush with P.R.I.D.E. may participate in a Voluntary Kennel Inspection Program which defines 11 mandatory health and welfare standards addressing a range of issues including food, water, shelter, confinement, socialization and quality of life. Certification of an operation requires the independent inspection of the facility by a vet, veterinary technician, animal enforcement officer or bylaw officer.
Policies are also provided to members including direction regarding the appropriate use of tethering and caring for dogs during a crisis and recommend re-homing or relinquishment of animals if an owner is unable to adequately provide for their sled dogs.
In order for a kennel to receive a rating of ‘Certification Plus’ the operator must meet the majority of eight additional criteria which assesses issues such as kenneling, breeding, whelping, and emergency evacuation plans.
Learn more about Mush With Pride Guidelines, here.
See the Inspection Document the Vets use when checking and certifying the kennels, here.
Learn more about Mush with Pride's Bylaws, here.
The Limitations of 'MUSH with PRIDE'
While Mush with P.R.I.D.E. represents the leading standard for sled dog activities worldwide, the standards are voluntary in nature, unenforceable by law and provide insufficient guidance in several critical areas. Hence, many believe that it is time for mandatory standards to be introduced in conjunction with area-specific and regionally appropriate 'good conduct' guidelines.
Our work to this end has resulted in us being awarded a Gold award in the World Responsible Tourism Awards for 2015 (in the 'Best Animal Welfare Initiave' category).