American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization and the world’s largest certifier of animal welfare practices, has announced that Dolphin Connection on Duck Key earned the American Humane Certified seal, demonstrating the exceptional welfare and treatment provided to animals in its care. The facility passed rigorous expert third-party audits to join a growing number of leading zoological institutions that have earned the American Humane Certified designation.
“All animals, including those being cared for in our zoos, aquariums and conservation parks, are entitled to humane treatment,” said Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane. “The Humane Certified seal of approval assures zoo and aquarium visitors that the facility meets the highest standards of animal care. Animals enrich our planet and our lives, and humanity has a moral obligation to treat them with the respect they deserve. We commend Dolphin Connection for this great achievement.”
The Humane Conservation program is the first certification effort solely dedicated to helping verify the welfare and demonstrably humane treatment of animals living in zoos, aquariums and conservation centers across the globe. The program enforces rigorous, science-based and comprehensive criteria for animal welfare, developed by an independent scientific advisory committee of world-renowned leaders in the fields of animal science, animal behavior and animal ethics.
American Humane’s certification process verifies many dimensions of animal welfare, with areas of evaluation including: excellent health and housing; positive social interactions within groups of animals, as well as between animals and handlers; safe and stimulating environments with concern for factors such as appropriate lighting, sound levels, air quality and thermoregulation; and evidence of thorough preparation and protocols established to prevent and manage medical or operational emergencies.
“Above the fog of the pandemic is a great future that shines brightly and at Dolphin Connection we are thrilled to embark upon the responsibility and honor of becoming American Humane Certified. The care and welfare of the marvelous dolphins in our care is our number one priority,” said Travis Burke, executive director of The Dolphin Company North America. “The certification is a testament to the selfless dedication and hard work of our specialists, educators, vets, support team and our general manager as they strive to educate our guests on a daily basis and share the wonders of the marine world. Becoming American Humane Certified reflects the commitment we have, throughout our organization, to ensure the animals in our care are provided the best care and welfare possible. This certification is a vital cornerstone in supporting our strategic vision as a conservation-based aquarium dedicated to protecting species from extinction, educating the public, and exemplifying the highest levels of animal care and welfare.”
Dolphin Connection, owned by The Dolphin Company, provides an opportunity for guests to have direct contact with marine mammals, providing awareness and encouraging positive change on behalf of the environment, oceans and marine life. Located at Hawks Cay Resort, in the heart of the Florida Keys, Dolphin Connection provides opportunities for resort and non-resort guests alike to live out their dreams by meeting dolphins in the water or on the dry docks. Through education and interaction, the facility can inspire a new generation to care about dolphins and marine mammal conservation.