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Editorial

I am very proud to see the Pup4life project on the FECAVA website.
This project was founded in Belgium by a regional veterinarian group (Limburgse Dierenartsenverening) that worked closely together with VDWE (Vlaamse Diergeneeskundige Werkgrope Ethologie). The project was officially launched in Belgium in February 2019, and they were happy to have CEVA as a sponsor.
What was the purpose of this project?
As vets, we see more and more pups being bought impulsively. People think: ‘all we need now is a dog’, and immediately they want to buy it. The more expensive, exclusive in colors and shape, the better.
In reports of different NGOs investigating the puppy trade, we read that the biggest problem in many countries is the lack of puppies on the local market. The demand is bigger than the local supply, so puppies have to be imported, mostly from the Eastern European Countries. The biggest market is the online market, unfortunately.
This created an idea to get future dog owners in the veterinary clinic before they buy a dog.
First, to think about what kind of dog would suit the family best. Secondly, to find a breeder, or even a shelter to retrieve the best candidate as the family member. In end, that’s what dogs are-a family member.
Pup4Life is set up as a website (linked at the FECAVA website) and two checklists that can be downloaded by the veterinarians to distribute or by the future owner himself.
 It would be great to see this project linked to all websites of all veterinary clinics so future owners could download this checklists from the clinic websites or even FECAVA website.
The first checklist is to be filled in by the future owners and to make them think about what they want from a new family member. The second list is to make future owners think about what they can expect from a breeder or a shelter, and maybe even to filter potential sellers from puppy mills.
They can take these lists to the veterinarian and go through them together. In the end, the vet clinic is the best place to get an advice in this very important step in one family’s life.
In the end we all want the best for every new family member.
 
Ann Criel
FECAVA Honorary Secretary
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