When in the final analysis each of us is judged on what we have accomplished on this earth and how we have gone about getting where we are, all that really counts is our integrity. Integrity is defined as "adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honest."
Most religions incorporate these attributes and wish their adherents to emulate them as best they can. Others value their integrity for altruistic rather than religious reasons but, zealously guard it and choose to do nothing that might impugn what they so strongly stand for.
Purebred dogs and dog breeding are what most who read this note are interested in. How each of us conduct ourselves as we go about these pursuits defines us as a person just as much as our religion or how we function in our profession/occupation. There are some who are involved with purebred dogs who function with no integrity. We have recently uncovered a situation where a person falsified a CERF registration certificate. This type of conduct cannot be tolerated and this person will be dealt with as aggressively as possible. They should be banned from purebred dog breeding in all it's ramifications. People who do these things are undoing years of effort by people who truly want to improve their breed and the welfare of individual animals. We all need to be doing everything we can to head off this kind of activity whenever it's encountered.
If you are confronted firsthand with a situation where persons are trying
to sidestep the voluntary measures set up by organizations like CERF, OFA,
and AKC to improve the state of the purebred dog, you should report it to
the appropriate people in these organizations. It is unlikely that criminal
laws will apply unless serious instances of fraud are involved. But, these
people can be banned from organized Dog Fancy activities such as shows and
obedience trials. Their dogs might no longer be registered. If their
motivation for falsifying a CERF registration is to gain some advantage in
their breeding program, if the recognition of that breeding program is
removed, they are effectively out of business. So there are some real
measures that can be taken against people doing such reprehensible things.
Therefore, please be vigilant. If you overhear people discussing bypassing
these voluntary systems, please speak up and point out the error of their
ways. If a registry needs to be changed, voice this concern with the
organization's leaders. Things can be changed. But, it must be done in an
orderly manner with a consensus of those in a position to best judge.
Without the personal integrity of the rank and file in the Dog Fancy none of
these registries can long survive.
The following are some commonly asked questions that we have received:
Q: I had my dog examined quite some time ago but I have not received
a CERF certificate yet. Why?
A: Did you fill out the back portion of the exam and mail that to us? If you did not, you need to do so. You must send in the owners copy of the CERF exam form to us with the proper fee. There has been a great deal of confusion on this matter. Many people think that after the dog is examined, the doctor sends in the form for CERF registration. This is NOT the case. The doctor sends in an exam copy that is used for research statistics ONLY, and is not correlated with CERF registrations.
Q: Is there any age limit for a dog to be registered with CERF?
A: No (there used to be a limit, but it has been removed by the ACVO genetics committee - we have no control over this rule.)
CERF and the Veterinary Medical Data Base has had a change in area code since February 1, 1997. We have changed from (317)494-8179 to (765)494-8179. Please make a note of this change because the 317 area code will only be functioning until June 1997. Please make a note that if you continually receive a busy signal while using the 765 area code it may be due in part to your state having not programmed in the new area code.
AKC has made some additional changes in their new policy regarding the publication of CERF and OFA numbers. Effective December 1, 1996 OFA and CERF transfers to the AKC registration database will occur only for dogs with positive and permanent identification at the time of testing. The AKC will NOT continue to publish all OFA and CERF numbers in the AKC Gazette or in the Awards notification. Currently, only the OFA and CERF numbers of dogs positively and permanently identified at the time of testing will be published. We will try to keep you abreast of any new adjustments made in this policy by AKC, however in the mean time if you have any further questions on this matter do not hesitate to contact our office or the American Kennel Club at (919) 233-3600 or (919) 233-9767.
On the membership application form, there is a reference to VMDB reports. Just what is VMDB? VMDB stands for the Veterinary Medical Data Base. CERF is actually one of the offspring of VMDB. Located at Purdue University since 1988, VMDB stores animal case data from the Veterinary Teaching Hospitals of 24 Universities across the United States and Canada.
The data goes back as far as 1964 and is currently more than 5 million case records strong. This data represents all the animal cases seen by the hospitals during this time period. While it includes all species of animals, the largest majority are canines.
Because CERF is housed with the VMDB, CERF members are actually in a wonderful position to obtain these VMDB data reports. The same reports that cost a CERF member $50, ordered by a commercial company would cost at least $150.
However, several factors need to be considered when examining the data on eye problem prevalence in the VMDB report.
Many canines entering a teaching hospital are never examined by a trained Veterinary Ophthalmologist.
For these reasons the VMDB data should be viewed as additional information on eye problem prevalence only and NOT the final word. The best resource for accurate rates of eye problem incidence is still the Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF) Research Report. The CERF report is a compilation of all canines seen only by qualified American Board of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO) Diplomates during eye-specific examinations.
Please click here to go to VMDB's home page.
|Number of Dogs Examined||40,388||43,552||58,859||54,373||*50,584||*32,751|
* Totals are incomplete. Some 1995 and 1996 forms either have not been returned by the examining diplomate or have not been scanned into the data base due to missing information.
CERF Continues to Grow
Although many factors contribute to this growth, we would like to take this opportunity to commend the biggest reason, the increasing number of breeders and owners who are utilizing this service to help insure a healthy future for their breed. Because of your love and concern for your dogs you have helped our agency reach new heights each year. Over the years we have seen a steady increase in the total number of dogs certified. This is due in part to the large number of newly certified dogs and the wonderful job that you are doing by spreading the word about our organization. Thank You!