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Pet Professional Guild members, when joining the organization, pledge to work within the parameters of the Guiding Principles and agree to be “Informed by Science, Guided by Empathy, and Governed by Ethics.” As such, PPG’s membership holds itself to a high standard of ethical conduct.

The Ethics Committee of the Pet Professional Guild consists of a committee chair and three other individuals made up of PPG Steering Committee members, other PPG members, and impartial professionals. The critical role of the Ethics Committee is to investigate all reported ethics violations.

Below is the official ethics inquiry and review procedure of the Pet Professional Guild. Please review this policy and procedure carefully before completing an Ethics Complaint Form. Complaints with no evidence attached will not be reviewed.

PPG considers two types of ethics inquiries: 

  1. Membership qualification inquiries—A membership qualification inquiry is initiated based on preliminary evidence submitted in a complaint that indicates a PPG member may, in fact, not qualify for membership based on PPG’s “non-negotiable” code of conduct. The Ethics Committee refers the complaint to PPG’s membership manager to review the member’s eligibility for membership.
  2. Ethical conduct violations—A review of alleged unethical conduct is initiated by a complainant or the Ethics Committee, and in the opinion of the Ethics Committee Chair, whether the conduct violates PPG’s code of ethics.

    The committee may choose to deal with a matter according to either procedure and may convert an inquiry from one type to another, as appropriate.

    Ethics Violation Review Policy

    Reports of alleged membership and ethics violations will be handled according to the following policy:

    • Complaints must be limited to alleged violations of the guild’s vision, mission, pledge, key values, and professional ethics, collectively referred to as the Guiding Principles.
    • Complaints must be made promptly; allegations of violations occurring more than thirty (30) days prior will be considered only under exceptional circumstances as determined by the Ethics Committee. Preliminary evidence must be submitted with the complaint. (Evidence is the available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid.)
    • Any person who feels they have been treated in a fashion that violates PPG’s Guiding Principles may file a complaint. The Ethics Committee will only consider complaints filed on behalf of a third party if the complaint is accompanied by verifiable independent evidence such as publicly available records, reports, business records, including those of a public agency, judgments of a court, marketing advertisements commercial documents and reports, commercial publications and the like.
    • All ethics complaints will be investigated and handled within an appropriate timeline.
    • All ethics reports will remain confidential.

            How to File a Complaint

            1. The individual filing the complaint (the complainant) must present the allegation to the Ethics Committee chair in writing by filling out an Ethics Violation Complaint Form
            2. The following information must be included in the report:
              • The name of the alleged violator (the defendant) and the actual complaint(s) in reference to the violation of the Guiding Principles. This must be specific. The complainant must reference the area(s) of the Guiding Principles that they feel has been violated by quoting the actual text from the Guiding Principles in the report.
              • A specific description that includes when and where the violation was alleged to have occurred, who was involved, and what happened.

                After the Complaint Is Received

                1. The PPG Ethics Committee chair will acknowledge receipt of the alleged violation without comment within 24 hours of receipt.
                2. The individual filing the report (the complainant) will be notified to keep the complaint confidential—this means no information about the complaint can be discussed with any other person. If confidentiality of the complaint is breached, it may be considered a violation of PPG’s Guiding Principles.
                3. The Ethics Committee chair will forward the complaint to committee members within 48 hours and notify the Steering Committee that a complaint has been filed. The details of the complaint will be kept confidential in order to preserve the Steering Committee’s ability to fairly and objectively interact with the member who is in alleged violation (the defendant).

                Investigation of Complaints

                1. The Ethics Committee will review the complaint. If necessary, the committee will gather more information and schedule an interview with the complainant.
                2. If the initial review indicates that the alleged infraction is not a violation of the Guiding Principles, the complainant will be notified in writing and no investigation will be pursued unless further facts or evidence is proffered.
                3. If it appears that a violation of the guiding principles has occurred based on the preponderance of evidence (the violation is more likely to be true than not), then the chair of the Ethics Committee will notify the subject of the complaint (the defendant) and allow seven (7) calendar days for a reply. If there is no reply to the compliant notification, the Ethics Committee will make a decision based on all available information.
                4. Once all information has been gathered, the Ethics Committee will make a determination about the sanctions, which may include:
                  • Education—additional education and mentoring
                  • Membership probation—probation for one (1) week or up to six (6) months, possibly combined with education
                  • Exclusion—termination of PPG membership

                The Appeal Process

                 If a defendant wishes to appeal the Ethics Committee’s decision, they will have ten (10) calendar days to do so.

                • All materials considered by the Ethics Committee will be provided to the PPG president and/or a board member and one other Steering Committee member.
                • A final decision will be made within five (5) calendar days, and the individual will be notified in writing.


                • Complete confidentiality shall be maintained by all involved parties throughout the process.
                • Once a determination has been made, the parties involved will be notified that a determination has been made.
                • Details of the determination will remain private.
                • A violation of confidentiality by any party involved in the matter will be considered a violation of the Guiding Principles.
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