Your V.C.A as a Service Organisation
VCA Membership is made up of three main groups - breeders, "eventers" - that is triallers and exhibitors, and pure bred dog owners who do not participate actively.
What does each group expect of the organisation in which it shares ownership?
The Breeders require and demand most. They need to rely on the register being kept current. They rely on the documentation which confirms the register, and they need to be able to rely on pedigree information. They need to have access to their breed "stud book" which conforms to historical data available in the past.
Breeders require a functioning kennel club and register to maintain credibility with their clients, their peers and the public at large. Any service which can be added to enhance the position of the breeders should be encouraged, for the breeders will always be the major source of new members, by the sale of stock produced which is excess to their own needs. The breeders of the VCA should be made easily accessible to the public via a referral service. This is a true "service" benefiting both parties.
Triallers and Exhibitors demand a calendar of events which enable them to test their animals against those of their competitors, either as specimens of conformational quality or as companions doing their partnership activity. From the VCA they require the affiliation and governing of event-organising Clubs under a set of rules which make for fair competition. The event seekers may be the breeders themselves, or the people who acquire their product.
The third group are the "mums and dads". They are also only likely to become members of the VCA by the encouragement of the breeder of their pure bred puppy. What do they demand of the VCA? The most they obtain for their membership dollar is Vic Dog. It is very easy to see that Vic Dog should therefore carry the type of material which will appeal to them as well as to breeders and eventers, if we are to retain their continued support.
There is no question that the VCA must serve firstly its owners - the members, whether they be breeders, eventers or pet owners. After these groups are satisfied we can look to recruiting, via our breeders, "the public". No matter what, the VCA will never appeal to those without any interest in dogs.
In a nutshell the message here is - let us all work together to make "our" VCA an organisation that breeders will be proud to recommend to their puppy purchasers. If the breeders are happy with their lot, expansion will be a natural progression, and those who seek their canine pal through the VCA should ultimately join our ranks.
Code of Ethics
For thousands of years, man has bred strains of dogs with desired characteristics and/ or abilities and instincts to perpetuate and enhance these characteristics. Pure bred dogs are true to type when mated. Offspring are predictable in appearance, temperament and instinct.
Various breeds of pure bred dogs have appeared and disappeared throughout history. Various dog registries throughout the world recognise more than 400 pure breeds. Some of these are of relatively recent origin, while others have existed since the time of the pharaohs.
Many mixed breed dogs and dogs of in determinant breeding are capable of providing excellent canine companionship and in some cases even human service and assistance, just as pure bred dogs do. However, neither the appearance nor genetic characteristics of mixed breed dogs are predictable, nor can they be perpetuated. The belief that mixed breeds of dogs are more vigorous, healthy, or well adjusted than properly bred pure bred dogs is a myth. The choice of a pure bred dog permits the prospective dog owner to select the size, appearance, disposition and instincts that the owner desires with assurance that a puppy purchased from a responsible breeder should possess those characteristics.
The Victorian Canine Association Inc., believes there may be a problem of over breeding of dogs in many communities in Australia. We believe this problem results from irresponsible breeding and marketing of dogs by "commercially" motivated breeders and a lack of understanding among the general public about the responsibilities of dog ownership.
The Victorian Canine Association Inc., believes that breeding programs should be undertaken responsibly for the purpose of improving the breed and that surplus stock should be placed only in homes where owners are committed to responsible dog ownership. We are opposed to the production of dogs by "breeders" who do so without regard to the quality of the animals they produce and without accepting responsibility for placing dogs in homes where owners understand and are prepared to undertake their commitment to responsible dog ownership.
The Victorian Canine Association Inc., supports and encourages the effort by Clubs, Organisations and individuals to rescue adoptable pure bred dogs from animal shelters, owners who can no longer care for their dogs in a responsible manner, or strays found wandering at large.
The Victorian Canine Association Inc., encourages all such groups or individuals, after exhausting all possible means to contact the owner and/or breeder of such animals, to spay or neuter all adoptable pure bred dogs prior to placing them with a responsible owner.
The Victorian Canine Association Inc., endorses breeding of dogs by responsible breeders for the purpose of improving breeds of pure bred dogs. We oppose random, large scale breeding of dogs for commercial purposes. We believe all breeders bear a responsibility to ensure that those who purchase their stock understand and are capable of carrying out their responsibilities as pet owners. We are opposed to the impulse marketing of puppies to unwitting buyers. We believe the solution to the problem of random, large scale breeding for commercial purposes is scrupulous enforcement of Federal, State and local regulations governing the humane care of animals and enactment and enforcement of consumer protection laws for dog buyers. We further recommend and support education of the public and the introduction of a "cooling off" period for Pet Shops to avoid impulse buying of dogs and to purchase puppies from responsible breeders.
The Victorian Canine Association Inc., encourages pet owners to spay or neuter their dogs as a responsible means to prevent accidental breeding resulting in unwanted puppies and to help reduce the number of dogs that must be destroyed each year. The Victorian Canine Association Inc., encourages breeders to breed only for the improvement of the breed and only when the produce of the breeding can be assured proper homes and care. The VCA recommends that breeders encourage puppy purchasers to have their pets that are not required for breeding purposes, spayed or neutered to prevent accidental breeding and to avoid breeding merely to produce puppies.
Dog owners bear a special responsibility to their canine companions to provide proper care and humane treatment at all times. Proper care and humane treatment includes an adequate and nutritious diet, clean water, clean comfortable living conditions, regular veterinary care, kind and responsible human companionship and training in appropriate behaviour.
We do not believe dogs should be kept in circumstances or numbers where all of these needs cannot be adequately fulfilled. Anyone convicted on charges of animal cruelty to a canine may have privileges suspended by the VCA.
The Victorian Canine Association Inc., unequivocally opposes the "sport" of dog fighting and the breeding and/or training of dogs for fighting. We support State Laws making any form of participation in organised dog fights a felony.
The Victorian Canine Association Inc., has no objection to the humane exporting of dogs to other countries. The VCA objects to the mass exporting of dogs bred purely for commercial purposes being sent to overseas pet shops or dog dealers.
The VCA supports the introduction of regulations governing the export of dogs from Australia that protects the health and welfare of the dog.
In particular we support export regulations that:
The Victorian Canine Association Inc., abhors acts of violence against dog owners, kennels and facilities committed by those who object to the keeping of animals. We respect the right to express and advocate personal opinions in lawful ways; however, we do not condone illegal actions or destruction of property, nor interference with the right of Australians to own, enjoy, exhibit or keep responsibly cared for pets and conduct with responsible breeding programs.
The Victorian Canine Association Inc., totally and unequivocally opposes the practice of training a dog to attack humans or any other animals. We totally support any State or Federal Laws that would outlaw this practice.
The Victorian Canine Association Inc., opposes the training of dogs for aggressive behaviour by any person except by recognised Government agencies.
The Victorian Canine Association Inc., shares the public's concern about overpopulation of dogs and the resulting euthanizing of large numbers of dogs. The VCA believes this problem results from inadequate animal control and irresponsible breeding and marketing practices of "commercial" and "backyard" breeders. We strongly support measures to educate people who breed pets and the potential pet buying public about responsible breeding practices and the responsibilities of pet ownership. We endorse strengthened enforcement of the laws governing "commercial" breeders and traffickers in dogs and, where necessary, the strengthening of the laws themselves. We strongly oppose blanket prohibition on breeding and mandatory spay/neutering which take away the rights of breeders and owners who take and fulfil their responsibilities in a serious manner.
The Victorian Canine Association Inc., fully supports the adoption of reasonable, enforceable, non discriminatory laws to govern the ownership of dogs.
The VCA believes that dog owners should be responsible for their dogs and that laws should impose appropriate penalties on irresponsible owners and establish a well-defined procedure for dealing with dogs proven to be dangerous which includes, if necessary, the destruction of such animals. Such legislation should not single out specific breeds or phenotypic classes of dogs. In other words, the legislation should be aimed at the deed not the breed.
The Victorian Canine Association Inc., abhors the illegal practice of cropping of ears on some breeds of dogs.
The act of ear cropping is illegal under the laws of Victoria and is an offence under the Rules and Regulations of the Victorian Canine Association Inc. VCA Rules and Regulations provide that dogs with cropped ears are ineligible to participate in any official or training activity conducted by the Victorian Canine Association Inc. or any of it's Affiliates.
The VCA fully support the State Laws forbidding the cropping of ears.
The human-canine bond pre-dates recorded history. Since the dawn of civilisation, man has enjoyed the companionship and assistance of dogs. Dog ownership has existed in most cultures, races, climates and economic situations - by monarchs, monks, nomads and peasants. The dog as a species exists only in close proximity to human settlement.
The VCA strongly endorses the right to own, keep and breed dogs in a responsible and humane manner. We are convinced that responsible dog ownership can be compatible with virtually any living arrangement. We oppose unreasonable limitation on pet ownership, for example by residents of senior citizen and government and private housing facilities, if the breeds are kept are appropriate to the circumstances.
The VCA recognises the special obligation of dog owners not only to their pets but to their neighbours and society. We support clean up ordinances, leash laws and other regulations designed to ensure that dogs and their owners do not become a nuisance or a threat to public health and safety.
The VCA strongly supports the training and use of dogs to provide assistance and service to humans. Dogs provide valuable service as seeing eye dogs; hearing dogs; therapy dogs; handicapped assistance dogs; drug, bomb and arson detection dogs; and search and rescue and assistance in rural industries.
This association of man and dog is one modern day manifestation of the age old relationship between man and dog that gives rise to the adage "Mans Best Friend".
We oppose those who seek to define the assistance and service dogs provide to mankind as exploitive and encourage the continuation and further development of the use of dogs for these purposes.
The Victorian Canine Association Inc., encourages and strongly supports the interaction and mutual enjoyment of man and dog in sporting activities such as hunting and Field Trials, in working circumstances such as herding, tracking and pulling and in competitive events such as Dog shows, Obedience Trials and other performance tests. We believe dogs should be properly cared for and humanely trained and not pushed beyond reasonable limits for which they were bred.
Section 1 - Compliance with Code of Ethics
Each member, upon signing an application for membership or renewal of membership of the VCA Inc., and being duly elected to general membership of the VCA Inc., shall, in addition to agreeing to be bound by the Constitution, Rules and Regulations of the VCA Inc., be also bound by the VCA's Code of Ethics relating to responsible dog ownership, including the keeping, welfare, breeding, selling and disposing of dogs by members to the effect of the terms and conditions set out under Section 2 hereof.
Section 2 - Code of Ethics and Undertaking
In consideration of the Victorian Canine Association Inc., electing me to its general membership and approval of that renewal from time to time, I pledge to the Victorian Canine Association Inc., that:-
Any member failing to observe any provisions of the Code of Ethics may be dealt with under the Rules of the Victorian Canine Association Inc.
The privileges given to Victorian Canine Association members under the "Domestic (Feral and Nuisance) Animals Act 1994" whereby members of this Association receive substantial discounted council registration fees is reliant on all VCA members acting in a responsible manner and obeying the requirements both of the Act and codes, rules and regulations of the Association. To do otherwise not only endangers the position of the individual but also the privileges given to their fellow members.
It should be remembered as stated recently by a senior government official;
"I should point out that these concessions were put into law on the grounds that the Association has rules for their members to follow, are in a position to enforce these rules and indeed do so".
We all have the privilege, but we must all act in a responsible manner to ensure it is retained.