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DOCKTOR PET CENTERS' TOUGH BREEDER CERTIFICATION PROGRAM IN PLACE

 DOCKTOR PET CENTERS' TOUGH BREEDER CERTIFICATION PROGRAM IN PLACE
 WILMINGTON, Mass. Feb. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Docktor Pet Centers' tough breeder certification program, unprecedented in the retail pet industry, is now in place and being enforced, Sarason D. Liebler, the company's chairman announced today.
 "This is the most critical stage in our implementation of an aggressive, long-term program designed to help eliminate improper breeding facilities, commonly known as 'puppy mills,'" Liebler said. "It means that as of Jan. 31, no Docktor Pet Center store can do business with any pet breeder or broker that has not been certified or is at least in the certification process."
 Docktor Pet Centers is the nation's largest retail pet store chain, with 153 stores located throughout the U.S., and is a major provider of quality purebred puppies, kittens, and other companion animals to the public. Certification Criteria
 To receive certification, Liebler noted, a breeder or broker must meet several crucial criteria:
 --Furnishing Docktor Pet with a current U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspection certificate indicating that it complies with the department's requirements for licensing, breeding conditions, and animal husbandry.
 --Providing comprehensive photographs indicating acceptable breeding facilities.
 --Agreeing to permit authorized representatives of Docktor Pet Centers to inspect its facilities.
 Liebler explained that in addition to calling for strict adherence to existing USDA requirements, the Docktor Pet standards exceed those requirements in certain vital areas such as sanitation, pest control, care and cage size. Initial Impact
 "Even before reaching the Jan. 31 deadline, our program has already had a measurable impact," Liebler said, noting that many breeders and brokers have recently accelerated their efforts to meet certification requirements, and that a number of inspected breeding facilities have been judged to be in non-compliance and suspended as certified facilities.
 "The Docktor Pet Centers organization has tremendous buying power," Liebler stated, "and through this program we are demonstrating that we can effectively use our power to generate substantial, long-term benefits for our industry, our customers, and the pets they purchase and bring into their homes... We are committed to this program and we mean business."
 -0- 2/13/92
 /CONTACT: Sarason D. Liebler of Docktor Pet Centers, 508-658-7840/ CO: Docktor Pet Centers ST: Massachusetts IN: SU:


TM-SH -- NE005 -- 9763 02/13/92 12:46 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 13, 1992
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