Skip to main content

U.S. flag An official website of the United States government

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture

USDA FAQ's and resources about coronavirus (COVID-19).  LEARN MORE

Center for Animal Welfare (CAW)

Animal Care is often asked by regulated and non-regulated stakeholders and industry partners to take the lead and provide guidance on animal welfare issues.  The program is now poised to more completely fulfill its leadership role with the APHIS Center for Animal Welfare (Center).

In collaboration with other animal welfare entities, the Center creates a diverse network of partners and experts to serve as the national resource for: policy development and analysis; education and outreach; and science and technology in support of the Animal Welfare Act and the Horse Protection Act. The Center partners with experts domestically and internationally to provide accurate, unbiased, science-based information to stakeholders and industry partners.

The Center opened in the fall of 2010 and is located in Kansas City, Missouri. Nora Wineland, DVM, MS, DACVPM, serves as its director.

The Center also has a team of Specialists with expertise ranging in exotic animals, kennels, biophysics, and training.

The Center and its Specialists are available to provide best-practices advice not only to Animal Care but also to:  federal agencies, stakeholders, cooperatives, state and local government, and other countries.  They have and will continue to provide leadership on the safety and well-being of animals during emergency preparedness and response.

Ongoing and still to come are efforts to provide leadership and current information on the latest in animal welfare science and technology and analyze animal care-related policies. The Center will probe the crossroads where science and policy meet 

Educational Materials

The materials below describe the prelicensing process and requirements for maintaining a license under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and regulations and best practices in animal care and husbandry for commercial facilities. The materials consist of a series of PowerPoint presentations with speaker notes.

Dog Breeder Resource Guide

USDA Animal Care created the Dog Breeder Resource Guide to be a practical source of information for commercial dog breeders regulated under the Animal Welfare Act. The first section gathers our publications and guidance documents such as factsheets and tech notes that would be pertinent to dog breeders. The second section presents additional tools and resources that may assist you with improving your business practices as well as increasing animal welfare. We also offer samples of the most common documents required for record keeping. The final section provides the Animal Welfare Act, Animal Welfare Regulations and Policies that pertain only to commercial dog breeding. Our hope is that the Guide will serve as a go-to resource for USDA-licensed dog breeders who want to quickly locate information that will help them better understand and adhere to the federal regulations.

Complementary Content