Pet Industry and Members of Congress Celebrate Pets in Washington, D.C.
Bob Vetere, PLC and HABRI chairman
The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) and the Pet Leadership Council (PLC) delivered the important message that pets are vital to our health and well-being to Members of Congress and their staff at Pet Night on Capitol Hill, which was hosted in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 6.
At a packed event with more than 400 in attendance including more than a dozen Members of Congress and leaders from the pet care community demonstrated their unity and commitment to increasing awareness of the health benefits of responsible pet ownership, said the event’s organizers. Important programs and legislative initiatives supported by the pet care community were also on display, including the Pet Care Trust, Pets Add Life and the Pet and Women Safety Act (PAWS) Coalition.
"More than 85 million American households have at least one pet and a growing field of science demonstrates that life with a healthy pet is beneficial to all," said Bob Vetere, PLC and HABRI chairman. "Momentum is building towards a more pet-friendly society with 98 percent of Americans considering their pet to be an important part of the family."
The pet care community is proud to support bipartisan legislation that increases accessibility to pets in order to benefit from their heal, including measures to provide service dogs to veterans with post-traumatic stress and to help survivors of domestic violence find safe shelter with their pets, event organizers said.
Guests at Pet Night interacted with registered Pet Partners therapy animals and experienced first-hand their power to reduce stress, elevate moods and increase social interaction. They also heard from pet care community leaders, the veterinary community, animal welfare advocates, research organizations, and members of Congress about the importance of pet ownership in America.
The PLC and HABRI also honored more than a dozen members of Congress with the Pets' Best Friend award for their support for pet-friendly legislation. The Cutest Pets on Capitol Hill were honored by the Animal Health Institute for the twelfth year in a row, recognizing Congressional companions from both sides of the aisle.