DC Stands for Dogs and Cats! | HABRI

DC Stands for Dogs and Cats!

New Survey Confirms Capitol Hill is a Very Pet-Friendly Workplace

New Survey Confirms Capitol Hill is a Very Pet-Friendly Workplace

Washington, D.C. (October 2, 2017) — Members of Congress have been bringing pets to work since the nation’s founding. A new survey confirms that Capitol Hill remains a very pet-friendly workplace today, with a solid majority of House and Senate offices who responded to the survey saying they welcome pets at work on the Hill.

The survey included in-person interviews in House and Senate offices during August, 2017, and was sponsored by Nestlé Purina PetCare and conducted on behalf of the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI), to call attention to the benefits of pet-friendly workplaces. The Hill survey findings paint a picture of a very pet-friendly workplace:

  • More than 80 percent of the 192 House and Senate offices who responded say they welcome pets in the office, either during recess, while Congress is in session, or both. By comparison, according to the Society for Human Resource Management, just 7% of American workplaces allow pets.
  • The pet-friendly Hill office findings were relatively consistent across party lines, geographic regions, and both chambers, suggesting wide bipartisan support for having pets at work.

“The bond we share with pets is something we can all agree on,” said Dr. Kurt Venator, DVM, PhD, and Chief Veterinary Officer at Purina. “We’ve been bringing our own dogs and cats with us to work for decades, because we believe life is better with pets. We know that pets help us de-stress, lower blood pressure, get our exercise, and even forge stronger social connections.”

Steven Feldman, Executive Director of HABRI, agrees: “Scientific research shows that pets in the workplace can boost productivity, collaboration and employee satisfaction,” said Feldman. “We hope that more companies and workplaces will follow the lead of Congress to begin to think about pets as a way to boost employee health and wellness.”

Pets have had a presence in Congress from the beginning. In a recent interview, the Assistant Senate Historian, Dan Holt, said senators used to bring their hunting dogs into the Old Senate Chamber — to sit right by their feet during floor debates. Circa 1800, congressional rules were enacted to prohibit pets on the Chamber floors. Congressional rules, however, permit pets nearly everywhere else on Capitol Hill, and staffers are almost universally aware that pets are permitted throughout congressional buildings, with few limitations.

The rich tradition of pets on Capitol Hill continues through today. According to Congressional historians and media reports:

  • Dozens of members of congress and their staffers are regularly seen accompanied by their four-legged friends in and around Capitol Hill offices. Some dogs are known as being greeters to visitors to their offices.
  • Some congressional pets even have their own business cards, like Oklahoma Rep. Jim Bridenstine’s “Spaniel & Statesman,” Oliver
  • Staffers sometimes announce when pets are in the office, as with a recent dog photo and note taped to Tennessee Rep. Steve Cohen’s office door stating, “Stevie is in the House!”

On October 4, 2017, HABRI and the Pet Leadership Council will bring the pet care community together to celebrate Pet Night on Capitol Hill. The event will include therapy animals and treat stations (for pets and humans). For more information, please visit www.petnight.com.

“Purina actively supports pets at work, pets in hospitals and pets in domestic violence shelters,” added Dr. Venator. “We also support legislation that helps keep pets and people together, including the Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act (H.R. 909, S. 322), and hope that this survey and Pet Night on Capitol Hill will help remind policymakers and the public about the importance of pets in our lives.”

About Nestlé Purina PetCare

Nestlé Purina PetCare promotes responsible pet care, community involvement and the positive bond between people and their pets. A premiere global manufacturer of pet products, Nestlé Purina PetCare is part of Swiss-based Nestlé S.A., a global leader in nutrition, health and wellness.

About HABRI

HABRI is a not-for-profit organization that maintains the world’s largest online library of human-animal bond research and information; funds innovative research projects to scientifically document the health benefits of companion animals; and informs the public about human-animal bond research and the beneficial role of companion animals in society. For more information, please visit www.habri.org.

Contact

Jamie Baxter

jamie@theimpetusagency.com

775.322.4022

###

Press Releases
Healthy Paws Foundation Joins Forces with the Human Animal Bond Research Institute

Healthy Paws Foundation, the charitable arm funded in part by Healthy Paws Pet Insurance – the #1 customer-rated provider of insurance for dogs and cats— and the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) have joined forces; Healthy Paws Foundation has made a contribution to support the HABRI’s research on the mental and physical health benefits of owning a pet. Healthy Paws will sit alongside other leaders in the pet care community on the HABRI Steering Committee. This commitment focuses on creating awareness of “the pet effect”, including health benefits for people and improved health and welfare for pets. Scientific evidence shows that companion animals can help prevent cardiovascular disease, reduce depression, and provide support for conditions ranging from Alzheimer’s to autism spectrum disorder to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). HABRI reports that pet ownership saves $11.7 billion in U.S. healthcare costs. The human-animal bond is also good for pets. A recently-published survey by HABRI found that when pet parents are educated on the scientific research on the health benefits of pets, 89 percent said they would be more likely to take better care of their pets. “We believe in the work HABRI is doing. Their research tells us that companion animals have a positive health impact; so while pets are an important part of the family, they’re also significant to our wellbeing,” said Rob Jackson, Chief Pet Protector at Healthy Paws. “It’s a mutually beneficial relationship, too – the knowledge that a human-animal bond increases their own health and wellness motivates pet parents to take better care of their pets. This means providing the best pet medical care is of utmost importance.” “Healthy Paws is a leader in the growing pet insurance business because they recognize the powerful human-animal bond that makes pets part of our families,” said Steven Feldman, HABRI Executive Director. “Research shows that when we take better care...

Press Releases
PAWS Act Coalition Hails Passage of Appropriations Bill as Key Milestone in Protecting Victims of Domestic Violence and their Pets

The PAWS Act Coalition, a group of nonprofit and for-profit organizations, lauded the passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020, which, for the first time, will provide $2 million in USDA grants to enable more domestic violence shelters to become pet-friendly so that victims of domestic violence and their pets may shelter and heal together. The grants come one year after the Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act was authorized as part of the 2019 Farm Bill, which received bipartisan support in its passage. “These new grants will help expand the network of domestic violence shelters which allow pets to accompany their families seeking safe shelter,” said Nina Leigh Krueger, president of Purina. “This is an important milestone in the coalition’s collective efforts to create safer communities for pets and pet owners, and Purina will remain steadfast in our commitment to protecting the bond between domestic abuse survivors and their pets by ensuring they can safely heal together.” The PAWS Act Coalition would like to thank the original co-sponsors of the Pet and Women Safety Act for their leadership and commitment to its passage, especially the lead sponsors Congresswoman Katherine Clark (D-MA-5), Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) and former Senator Dean Heller (R-NV). The Coalition is also particularly grateful for Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) for spearheading the effort to pass the bill by including its language in the Farm Bill. “No one should have to make the choice between finding safety and staying in a violent situation to protect their pet,” said Congresswoman Katherine Clark (D-MA-5). “This law and the newly appropriated federal dollars will empower survivors with the resources to leave a dangerous situation while being able to continue to care for their pet. I’m grateful for the partnerships we’ve formed between organizations working to end both domestic violence and animal abuse. Together, we will help save lives.” The USDA will now be able...

Press Releases
PAWS Act Coalition Lauds Full Congressional Funding for Grant Program to Aid Survivors of Domestic Violence and their Pets

The Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act Coalition today celebrated the passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022, which for the third year in a row, includes funding for an important grant program designed to enable more domestic violence shelters to become pet-friendly so that victims of domestic violence and their pets may seek safe shelter together. The $3 million appropriated for 2022 represents a $500,000 increase in funding from 2021, up to the fully-authorized amount, and comes three years after bipartisan passage of the Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act, as part of the 2018 Farm Bill. “Congressional funding for the PAWS Act, coupled with private sector support, directly results in more domestic abuse survivors and their pets being able to safely enter shelter and start the next chapter of their lives together,” said Nina Leigh Krueger, CEO and President of Purina. “Through Purina’s partnership with RedRover on the Purple Leash Project, we’ve set a national goal to help ensure that at least 25% of domestic violence shelters in the U.S. are pet-friendly by 2025. Full funding of the PAWS Act keeps this goal within reach.” Demand for the Emergency Transitional Pet Shelter Housing and Assistance Grant Program has continually surpassed the funding available for the program, leading to bipartisan calls to further increase funding in 2022. The PAWS Act Coalition honors the bipartisan efforts of 204 Representatives, led by Representative Katherine Clark (D-MA-5), and 43 Senators, led by Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Gary Peters (D-MI), for requesting this critical funding for FY 2022. Domestic violence shelters across the U.S. will be eligible to apply online for grants in the coming months, and additional details about the application process will be forthcoming from the U.S. Department of Justice, which administers the grant program. This continued funding follows the success of the FY 2020 and FY 2021 Emergency Transitional Pet Shelter Housing...

HABRI