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
Synchrony and The Human Animal Bond Research Institute Form Strategic Alliance to Champion the Human-Animal Bond

The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) and Synchrony (NYSE: SYF), a leading consumer finance company, today announced a strategic partnership to advance the companies’ shared goal of strengthening the human-animal bond. “At Synchrony, we’re continually looking for ways to equip pet parents and veterinarians with the knowledge, resources and financial solutions to provide all pets with the care they need, over the course of their lifetime,” said Boo Larsen, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Veterinary and Pet Care, Synchrony. “By joining forces with HABRI, we hope to help everyone in the relationship with the animal truly understand the mutually beneficial power of the bond, which will in turn lead to better veterinary care.”[1] Synchrony is committed to empowering the health and wellness of people and their families, including their pets, through its flexible financial solutions including the CareCredit health and wellness credit card and Pets Best, as well as partnerships such as this one with HABRI.  HABRI’s efforts to demonstrate and substantiate the positive impact of this special bond on the health of pets, individuals, families and communities align perfectly with Synchrony. Synchrony will help HABRI fulfill its mission of building the human-animal bond by: Funding HABRI’s impactful research that documents the positive benefits of companion animals for personal and public health and addresses major industry issues. Amplifying HABRI’s science-based education to CareCredit’s network of 25,000 veterinary providers – which reaches 95% of veterinary university hospitals and ~75% of veterinary hospitals nationwide – to increase public awareness of the human-animal bond’s essential role in human and animal health and wellness. Participating in HABRI’s public policy initiatives and advocating for legislative solutions that support pet owners and help increase access to pet care. Synchrony executives recently participated...

Press Releases
Federal Grant Applications Now Open: $3.3MM Now Available to Support Pet-Friendly Domestic Violence Shelters

The PAWS Act Coalition, a group of nonprofit and for-profit organizations committed to protecting survivors of domestic violence and their pets, proudly shares the recent announcement of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Victims of Crime (OVC) Emergency and Transitional Pet Shelter and Housing Assistance Grant Program. “Purina is proud to be part of the public-private partnership supporting grants to DV shelters to ensure more abuse survivors and their pets are able to enter safe shelter and begin healing together,” said Nina Leigh Krueger, CEO and President of Nestlé Purina PetCare. “The PAWS Act Coalition will work closely with the Department of Justice to raise awareness of the $3.3 million available to aid survivors of domestic violence and their pets,” said Steven Feldman, President of the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI). “We are proud to help spread to word about the opening of the 2023 grant applications, including the new category of awards which aims to provide technical assistance to reinforce existing grantees.” FY 2023 grants will provide funding for shelter and transitional housing and other assistance for survivors of domestic violence with pets, service animals, emotional support animals, or horses. Grants awarded may be used for programs that provide support services designed to enable someone fleeing an abuser to locate and secure housing with their pet, safe accommodations for their pet, or related services such as transportation and other assistance. Additionally, funding will provide training and technical assistance yo existing grantees from FY 2020-2022. The OVC will fund five awards of up to $400,000 each for large projects and eight awards of up to $100,000 each for small projects. Eligible projects may facilitate pet-friendly shelter in different ways including emergency, transitional, and short-term shelter and housing assistance for domestic violence survivors along with their companion...

Press Releases
Study Shows Service Dogs are Associated with Lower PTSD Symptoms Among War Veterans

A preliminary study led by researchers in the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine has shown that overall symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder are lower among war veterans with service dogs. The pilot study was co-funded by the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) and Bayer Animal Health. The study was led by Maggie O’Haire, assistant professor of human-animal interaction, with the help of K9s For Warriors, an accredited non-profit organization that provides veterans with service dogs. The pilot research project provides scientific evidence of mental health benefits experienced by veterans with PTSD who have service dogs. “We found that the group of veterans with service dogs had significantly lower levels of PTSD symptomology than those who did not have a service dog,” O’Haire says. “They also had lower levels of depression, lower anxiety and increased social participation, meaning a willingness to leave their house and go engage with society in different activities.” The study is published in the February issue of the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. Participants were recruited between November 2015 and February 2016 from a national sample of 304 individuals who applied and were approved to receive a trained PTSD service dog from K9s For Warriors. Of these, 141 individuals chose to participate in the preliminary trial. Approximately half of the sample of participants were on the waitlist to receive a service dog and the other half already had a service dog. Measurements of various aspects of PTSD symptoms, quality of life, social functioning and work were analyzed and compared between the two groups. Results reveal that veterans suffering from PTSD exhibited better mental health and well-being on several measures if they had a service dog, including: Lower overall symptoms of post-traumatic stress Lower levels of depression Higher levels of life satisfaction Higher overall psychological well-being Lower...

HABRI