Virtual Pet Week on Capitol Hill Celebrates Pets during Pandemic | HABRI

Virtual Pet Week on Capitol Hill Celebrates Pets during Pandemic

Human Animal Bond Research Institute Transforms Beloved Pet Night on Capitol Hill Reception to Week of Virtual Programming Focused on the Positive Role of Pets

Washington, D.C. (September 14, 2020) — The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) virtually delivered the message that pets are good for our health and wellbeing through Pet Week on Capitol Hill. Pet Week featured conversations with pet care leaders and members of Congress about the importance of pet ownership in America and the scientific evidence that shows how pets and people are good for each other.

“HABRI is proud to host Pet Night on Capitol Hill, but since we couldn’t be together in person, we decided to build a virtual Pet Week on Capitol Hill,” said Steven Feldman, HABRI’s Executive Director. “The entire pet care community came together to share the power of pets with Congress, and we ended up with even greater participation, which shows how the human-animal bond has grown even stronger during the pandemic.”

Pet Week highlighted timely issues including the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on pet adoption in America and the importance of passing lifesaving pet-related legislation aimed at improving the lives of veterans with PTSD and survivors of domestic violence.
Congressman Kurt Schrader (OR-5) discussed the importance of One Health Act legislation aimed at helping protect people and pets from zoonotic diseases, and the key role of veterinary medicine in preventing future pandemics.

Thousands of participants experienced the human-animal bond from afar, with virtual visits from Pet Partners therapy animals and adoptable pets from the Humane Rescue Alliance. Pet Week also featured a special guest appearance from baseball Hall-of-Famer Tony La Russa, who spoke on the lifesaving impact of service dogs for veterans with post-traumatic stress.

For Pet Week’s closing celebration, the Animal Health Institute crowned the winners of the Cutest Pets on Capitol Hill contest, recognizing the most adorable congressional companions from both sides of the aisle.

Dog: Sergeant Pepper
Owner: Syd Terry
Office of Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL-9)

Cat: Jackson
Owner: Liz Leibowitz
Office of Senator Cardin (MD)

Exotic: Arty
Owner: Matthew Brownlee
Office of Rep. Markwayne Mullin (OK-2)

“As one of the three veterinarians in the United States Congress, it’s always a lot of fun to collaborate with the Animal Health Institute for the Cutest Pets on Capitol Hill contest,” said Representative Schrader. “Pets are always important to us, and never more so than during the global pandemic when so many of us seek companionship and outlets that help us have fun and release tension. Pets remind us of what’s good and right in the world.”

All recorded discussions from Pet Week on Capitol Hill are now available to view on-demand at www.PetNight.com, where people can also sign up to be invited to Pet Night 2021. Pet Night on Capitol Hill is an annual event, hosted by HABRI and sponsored by the pet care community. For more information, please visit www.petnight.com. Images available upon request.

About Human Animal Bond Research Institute

The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (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
New Research Shows Cats Help Children with Autism

The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) today announced the results of a new study published in the Journal of Pediatric Nursing titled, “Exploratory study of cat adoption in families of children with autism: Impact on children’s social skills and anxiety,” demonstrating that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may experience increases in empathy and decreases in problem behaviors after adoption of a shelter cat into their families. “Our study found that children with ASD experienced significant increases in the social skill of empathy, significant decreases in problem behaviors including bullying and hyperactivity/inattention, and also less separation anxiety after the introduction of a shelter cat,” said Gretchen Carlisle, PhD, MEd, RN, research scientist at the University of Missouri Research Center for Human Animal Interaction (ReCHAI). “Previous research has focused on interactions of dogs with children who have ASD, but dogs may not provide the best fit for all children and their families, especially given the hypersensitivities to sound that are common among children with ASD,” Carlisle said. “We hope the results of this study will help encourage more families to consider the possibility of cat ownership and help more shelter cats find loving, deserving homes.” “For the first time, we have scientific research that shows how beneficial cats can be for families of children with ASD,” said Steven Feldman, President of HABRI, the primary funder of the study. “Selecting a suitable family pet is an important decision. Families with a child with ASD now have more information and more choices, and we hope that this will also help more shelter cats find good homes.” Findings of the Feline Friends study, led by researchers at the University of Missouri, demonstrated that children with an adopted shelter cat had better empathy and less separation anxiety, as well as fewer problem behaviors exhibited by less externalizing, bullying...

Press Releases
Veterans Day Virtual Lecture: Efficacy of Service Dogs for Veterans Living with Post-traumatic Stress

The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) and IDEXX held a virtual lecture on the health benefits of psychiatric service dogs for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This is the first lecture of the IDEXX Human-Animal Bond Lecture Series, which highlights impactful scientific research on the health benefits of the human-animal bond and the importance of veterinary medicine in strengthening human-animal bonds. The Veterans Day lecture, titled The Efficacy of Service Dogs for Veterans with PTSD, featured a conversation with Marguerite E. O’Haire, PhD, Associate Professor of Human-Animal Interaction, Center for the Human-Animal Bond at Purdue University. Dr. O’Haire discussed findings and implications of her groundbreaking HABRI-funded study, Preliminary efficacy of service dogs as a complementary, therapeutic treatment for post-traumatic stress in military members, veterans and their families. “IDEXX is proud to sponsor this lecture series which will serve as a valuable educational resource for both the general public and for the veterinary community about the science of the human-animal bond,” said Kerry Bennett, Corporate Vice President, IDEXX. “We know pet owners rely on their veterinarians to deliver scientific information about the health benefits of their pets, and when veterinarians and animal health professionals effectively communicate the science of the human-animal bond, they can strengthen bonds by encouraging compliance and improving animal care and welfare.” Published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology in 2018, Dr. O’Haire’s proof-of-concept study assessed the efficacy of service dogs as a complementary treatment for military members and veterans living with PTSD. Results indicate that those with a service dog exhibited significantly lower overall PTSD symptom severity, including increased overall psychological well-being; a better ability to cope with flashbacks and anxiety attacks; a lower frequency...

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!