News Release

For immediate release: July 30, 2020

Contact: Michael Crusan

New program highlights licensed dog and cat breeders going above and beyond

The Minnesota Board of Animal Health launched the Commercial Breeder Excellence Program earlier this month and has certified the first qualifying commercial dog breeder. There are 119 licensed commercial dog or cat breeders in Minnesota, and each may earn up to five different badges as voluntary participants in the Breeder Excellence Program. Each badge represents an area where a breeder has exceeded legal standards and if they earn all five, they’re recognized as a Breeder of Excellence. Program participants must reapply for each badge annually.

“We created an advisory task force in 2018 and worked with commercial breeders, veterinarians and Board inspectors the past two years to develop the requirements and standards of this program,” said Dr. Courtney Wheeler, Senior Veterinarian at the Board of Animal Health. “Thank you to everyone who collaborated on the creation of this program to acknowledge breeders providing exemplary care for their animals.”

Licensed breeders are required to provide supporting documentation when applying for the program badges. Board staff then review all materials and determine if the applicants meet each individual badge requirement. The five badges of the program are:

  • Behavior and Socialization.
  • Continuing Education.
  • Facility Management.
  • Health Screening.
  • Disease Screening (earned as one or the other, based on species):
    • Canine Brucellosis Screening (dogs).
    • Feline Immunodeficiency and Feline Leukemia Screening (cats).

“The quality of care we provide our dogs is the core of how we run our kennel,” said Tammy Mollet of Fieldstone Kennels, the state’s first participant in the Breeder Excellence program. “This program highlights the extra effort we put into their wellbeing and we appreciate being recognized for setting a high standard for raising dogs.”

A qualifying breeder may display their earned badges on any advertising and the Board will highlight which badges a breeder has earned on its website. Get answers to frequently-asked-questions, learn how to apply for the program and view all the badges on the Board website. The Breeder Excellence Program is not a guarantee or warranty by the Board of Animal Health of an animal’s health or fitness.