February 25, 2020

Code of Ethics

Preamble

Pittsburgh Pet Care (“PPC”) is dedicated to creating, maintaining, and promoting standards of excellence in the pet care industry.  As such, PPC expects all of its members to effectively adhere to the elements and principles of ethical conduct, outlined herein, within their work.

This code of ethics is designed to provide appropriate guidelines, accountability, and enforceable standards of conduct for all PPC members.

PPC members agree to abide by the following PPC Code of Ethics (“Code of Ethics”):

 

Definitions

  • Client: The Client is the person(s) to whom pet care is being provided to.
  • Conflict of Interest: A situation in which a pet care professional has a private or personal interest sufficient enough to influence the objectivity of their official duties as a pet care professional.
  • Domesticated Animal: An animal which has been conditioned by humans to live with and depend upon humankind for their survival.
  • Pet Care: The provision of emotional, physical, environmental, and medical well-being for domesticated animals.
  • Pet Care Organization: An organization responsible for rendering and/or ensuring the care of domesticated animals, such as, but not limited to, animal shelters, pet stores, veterinarian offices, veterinarian hospitals, and mobile veterinarian care.
  • Pet Care Professional: An individual responsible for rendering and/or ensuring the care of domesticated animals, such as, but not limited to, an animal trainer, dog walker, pet sitter, animal shelter employee, pet store employee, animal groomer, and veterinarian.
  • Professional Relationship: A professional relationship exists when pet care includes an agreement (including contracts) that defines the responsibilities of each party.

 

Standards of Ethical Conduct

Section 1: The PPC Pledge

As a pet care professional and member of PPC, I:

1) Agree to conduct myself in accordance with the PPC Pledge:

I pledge to help people make wise choices with their pets’ care. I will do my best to stay current with the best practices and education available.  I will do no harm while teaching others how to care for their pets.  I will treat every person and animal as the individuals they are and seek to understand their unique needs.  I will ask for help from others when situations require a skill set beyond my current skill and education level.  I will be open minded and continue to grow as a pet care professional.

 

Section 2: Professional Conduct at Large

As a pet care professional and member of PPC, I:

2) Agree to conduct myself in accordance with this Code of Ethics in all interactions with my clients, colleagues, employees, mentees, supervisors, and others I interact with while executing my duties as a pet care professional, including, training, mentoring, and supervisory activities.

3) Commit to contact PPC to address any violation or possible breach of this Code of Ethics as soon as I become aware of it, whether it involves myself, another pet care professional, or a pet care organization.

4) Shall create and spread awareness of the responsibilities established within this Code of Ethics with other pet care professionals and pet care organizations.

5) Shall refrain from unlawful discrimination in occupational activities, including age, race, gender orientation, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, national origin or disability.

6) Shall truthfully and accurately represent my services, the pet care industry, and PPC in all written and oral communication.

7) Shall accurately identify, clearly state, and not misrepresent my qualifications, expertise, experience, training, and certifications as a pet care professional.

8) Shall not claim the intellectual property (work) of others as my own.  I understand that violating this standard may leave me subject to legal remedy by a third party.  I will only take and promote ownership of my own intellectual property.

9) Shall strive at all times to recognize my personal issues that may impair, conflict with, or interfere with my professional relationships and provision of pet care.  In the event I find my professional relationships and/or provision of pet care impaired, conflicted, or interfered with, I will promptly seek the relevant professional assistance to determine the appropriate action to take, including whether to suspend or terminate the professional relationship and/or provision of pet care in question.

10) Shall maintain, store and dispose of any records, including electronic files and communications, created during my professional relationships and provision of pet care in a manner that promotes confidentiality, security, and privacy, as well as, complies with any applicable laws and agreements.

11) Shall use PPC member contact information (email addresses, telephone numbers, addresses, etc.) only in the manner and to the extent authorized by PPC.

 

Section 3: Professional Conduct with Clients

As a pet care professional and member of PPC, I:

12) Shall only convey what I know to be true and accurate to clients and potential clients about the provision of pet care and about myself as a pet care professional.

13) Shall truthfully and accurately explain and ensure that, prior to the provision of pet care, my clients understand the nature of pet care, the nature and limits of confidentiality, financial arrangements, and any other applicable terms of the professional relationship governing the provision of pet care.

14) Shall be responsible for being aware of and setting clear, appropriate, and culturally sensitive boundaries that govern interactions, physical or otherwise, I may have with my clients.

15) Shall not engage in any sexual or romantic relationship with current, future, or potential clients.  I will be alert to the possibility of any potential sexual intimacy and take the appropriate action to address the issue or cancel the provision of pet care to ensure a safe environment and professional relationship for all.

16) Shall be alert to the possibility of any potential sexual intimacy among my employees, contractors, and others under my direct supervision and organization with current, future, and potential clients.  I will be alert to the possibility of any potential sexual intimacy and take the appropriate action to address the issue or cancel the provision of pet care to ensure a safe environment and professional relationship for all.

17) Shall respect the client’s right to terminate the provision of pet care at any point.  I shall remain alert to indications that there is a shift in the value received from the provision of pet care and strive at all times to address the concerns to ensure the well-being of the domesticated animal(s) receiving care.

18) Shall encourage the client make a change if I believe the client would be better served by another pet care professional and suggest my client seek the services of other pet care professionals when deemed necessary or appropriate.

19) Shall clearly identify and express the roles for any other persons (employees, contractors, etc.) assisting my provision of pet care to my clients; set clear boundaries, as applicable, for those persons provision of pet care; and define clear means of communication for my clients to review, comment upon, or express concern about those persons’ provision of care to their pet(s).

20) Shall honor an honest, equitable, and client/pet centered professional relationship with my clients regardless of the form of compensation.

 

Section 4: Confidentiality/Privacy

As a pet care professional and member of PPC, I:

21) Shall maintain the strictest levels of confidentiality with all of my clients’ personal identification information, such as, but not limited to telephone numbers, email addresses, and physical addresses, unless release is required by law or express written consent is given by my client to disclose such information.

22) Shall not facilitate any introduction, meeting, or other connection between any client and a third party without the expressed consent of my client.

 

Section 5: Conflicts of Interest

As a pet care professional and member of PPC, I:

23) Shall strive at all times to be conscious of any conflict or potential conflict of interest between myself and my current, future, and potential clients, openly disclose the conflict of interest, and offer to remove myself from the professional relationship when a conflict arises.

24) Shall strive at all times to be conscious of any conflict or potential conflict of interest between my employees, contractors, and others under my direct supervision and organization with my current, future, and potential clients.  I shall openly disclose the conflict of interest and offer to remove the person(s) in question from the professional relationship when a conflict arises.

 

Section 6: Continuing Development

As a pet care professional and member of PPC, I:

25) Commit to the need for continued and ongoing development of my professional skills.

26) Commit to abiding by any continuing education requirements to maintain my certifications and/or licenses as directed by their respective governing bodies.

 

Section 7: Other Parties Engaged in My Provision of Pet Care

As a pet care professional and member of PPC, I:

27) Shall require all those who work with or for me in the provision of pet care to adhere to this Code of Ethics.

 

Section 8: Adherence to Other Code of Ethics

As a pet care professional and member of PPC, I:

28) Shall adhere to all other codes of ethics pursuant to my certifications, licenses, education, and employment as a pet care professional.

29) Acknowledge this Code of Ethics serves as a supplement to any other codes of ethics I am to abide by and does not supersede them in areas in which this Code of Ethics is more lenient than the other codes of ethics  I further acknowledge to abide by the other codes of ethics I am beholden to when they are more restrictive than this Code of Ethics, or provides provisions this Code of Ethics does not include.

30) Acknowledge I will abide by this Code of Ethics when it is more restrictive than any other code of ethics I am to abide by.  I further acknowledge I will abide by this Code of Ethics when it provides provisions my other codes of ethics do not cover.

 

Part Three: Acknowledgment of the PPC Code of Ethics

As a PPC member, I acknowledge and agree to honor my ethical and legal obligations to my clients, colleagues, and to the public at large.  I vow to comply and abide by the PPC Code of Ethics and to practice these standards with those whom I render services to, teach, mentor, supervise, and/or employ.

If I breach this acknowledgement or any part of the PPC Code of Ethics, I agree that PPC in its sole discretion may hold me accountable for so doing.  I further agree that my accountability to PPC for any breach may include sanctions, such as, but not limited to, loss of my PPC Membership.