The Kennel Management Association is a self regulatory program designed to educate and guide the members of ICAW. It was started after a promise that was made to the Indiana state legislators in 2009.
When Patrick Keith worked for USDA, he often heard breeders ask, “What does USDA know about breeding dogs?” There might be a grain of truth in that question. He can tell you having worked with Indiana Council of Animal Welfare’s KMA for years now, both as a Compliance Specialist and as an Executive Director of ICAW, these guys know a lot.
What a concept! Friends, neighbors, and even competitors rally together to help one another continue to improve. ICAW has for years, set a standard that promotes the highest level of professionalism in the dog breeding industry. Keep in mind that, even in our own ranks there have been breeders somewhat hesitant in supporting this concept, in fact there may be some that still hesitate to participate in a KMA visit. And frankly that’s ok, as the industry continues to change there will always be those breeders that choose to remain in the shadows, those breeders that, since they don’t agree with certain laws or regulations will simply ignore the rules. These are not the breeders ICAW supports, or who our KMA’s are designed to assist. The Kennel Management Assistance program is part of a series of efforts ICAW continues to offer to its members along with continuing education, legislative support as well good, old-fashioned fellowship for people in the same communities with the same interests.
Breeders that live in some counties are required to get the KMA visits, and that, friends, is not a bad thing. Accountability is part of every industry either from the public or the government or both. Having your “Peer’s” evaluation is a great tool. These “Evaluators” are currently walking in the same shoes you are. They know the same pressure you know. They struggle with the exact issues you do, e.g.: invest in a new kennel, downsize, upsize, retail or use a broker? If you are the type of breeder that wants to be accountable and continue to improve, you have the most valuable tool available to you. A Peer that is ready, willing and able to assist you.
Being an ethical and professional breeder in 2021 is a challenge for sure, but the rewards can be wonderful both financially and socially, we are after all raising “Man’s Best Friends”. Let’s use everything at our disposal to make sure we do it right.