The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) will host virtual Pet Week on Capitol Hill the week of Oct. 18, a free-to-attend series of virtual programs dedicated to sharing information about the importance of pet ownership in America and the scientific evidence that shows how the human-animal bond is essential to public health.
The pandemic has reinforced the role of pets as important sources of social and emotional support for a growing majority of American households, which has climbed to 70 percent according to the latest National Pet Owners Survey commissioned by the American Pet Products Association (APPA).
“Pets are more important in American life than ever before,” said Steven Feldman, president of HABRI. “This year’s Pet Week will feature engaging sessions about lifesaving pet-friendly policies, key veterinary issues and legislation, statistics on pet populations, data on the economic impact of pet care businesses, and more.”
Pet Week on Capitol Hill will conclude with the unveiling of the winners of the thirteenth annual Cutest Pets on Capitol Hill contest, hosted by the Animal Health Institute.
The full Pet Week schedule is listed below (all times Eastern):
Monday, October 18
12-12:30 p.m.: The Importance of Pets and the Human-Animal Bond, presented by Steven Feldman, president of HABRI
4-4:30 p.m.: Data on Pet Sheltering Before, During and After the Pandemic, presented by Susanne Kogut, president of Petco Love
Tuesday, October 19
12-12:30 p.m.: Pet Ownership Data & Economic Outlook, presented by Steve King, CEO of American Pet Products Association
4-4:30 p.m.: The State of Homeless Companion Animals in the United States, presented by Dr. Jo Gale, veterinarian, senior manager global science advocacy, corporate affairs at Mars Petcare
Wednesday, October 20
12-12:30 p.m.: The Importance of Pet-Inclusive Rental Housing in the United States, presented by Dr. Gary Michelson, inventor and philanthropist at Michelson Found Animals Foundation, and Steven Feldman, president of HABRI
4-4:30 p.m.: 2021 Pet Legislation: Saving Lives on Both Ends of the Leash, presented by Nina Leigh Krueger, CEO and president at Nestlé Purina PetCare, featuring personal stories from celebrity spokespersons
Thursday, October 21
12-12:30 p.m.: Veterinary Issues in Congress featuring Representative Kurt Schrader (OR-5) and Dr. Michael McFarland, executive vice president and chief medical officer at Zoetis Petcare
4-4:30 p.m.: Cutest Pets on Capitol Hill Awards Ceremony featuring Animal Health Institute and Representative Kurt Schrader (OR-5)
“While we are hopeful to once again have Pet Night in-person in the future, this year’s virtual Pet Week will be better than ever,” Feldman added. “We are so grateful to the many sponsors of Pet Week and the entire pet care community who recognize the importance of educating Congress about the role of pets in our lives.”