Virtual Pet Week on Capitol Hill Brings People Together in Celebration of the Human-Animal Bond | HABRI

Virtual Pet Week on Capitol Hill Brings People Together in Celebration of the Human-Animal Bond

Human Animal Bond Research Institute Hosts Week of Virtual Programming Highlighting the Importance of Pets for Public Health

Washington, D.C. (October 22, 2021) — The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) brought the love of pets to Congress this week through a virtual Pet Week on Capitol Hill. Featuring conversations with leaders in animal health, animal welfare, pet business, celebrity guests, Members of Congress, therapy animals, and some very cute pets, Pet Week focused on key data showing growing importance of pets in society and how policies supporting pet ownership and care have the potential to save lives, enhance wellbeing, and protect public health.  

“Americans love their pets and support policies that strengthen pet ownership as a positive force for our health and wellbeing,” said Steven Feldman, President of HABRI. “The entire pet care community came together during virtual Pet Week on Capitol Hill to share this message and the data behind the importance of the human-animal bond in American society.” 

Pet Week on Capitol Hill addressed a wide array of timely issues including data-driven updates on animal shelters and pet adoption in the United States, the importance of pet ownership and pet care to the economy, and the positive impact of pet-friendly policies and legislation. Congressman Kurt Schrader (OR-5) discussed the importance of veterinarians during the pandemic and legislation aimed at protecting people and pets from zoonotic diseases and natural disasters.  

“As the only veterinarian serving in Congress, I welcome opportunities like this to spread the word to pet owners, the public and my colleagues about the real, tangible benefits pets bring to our lives, and the importance of veterinary medicine in safeguarding public health,” said Representative Schrader. “It was also my honor to announce the winners of the AHI Cutest Pets on Capitol Hill Contest. Pet Week on Capitol Hill is a wonderful event that brings us together and lifts spirits at a time when everyone really needs it.”   

A highlight of Pet Week on Capitol Hill, the Animal Health Institute (AHI) unveiled the winners of the 13th annual Cutest Pets on Capitol Hill contest, which recognizes the most adorable animals owned by Members of Congress and their staff. 

 

 

  • Dog: Reily 

Owner: Rep. Suzan DelBene (WA-1) 

  • Cat: Dorothy

Owner: Rep. Chris Pappas (NH-1) 

  • Exotic: Dublin 

Owner: Emma Settle 

Office of Rep. Richard Hudson (NC-8) 

In special guest appearances, Tamron Hall, journalist and TV personality, advocated for Congress to increase funding for pet-friendly domestic violence shelters. Bobby Bones, best-selling author and TV personality, delivered a heartfelt message in support of veterans with post-traumatic stress, who will now be able to train and have access to service dogs after recent passage of the Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers for Veterans Therapy Act. 

“We are grateful to the many pet care companies and organizations who made virtual Pet Week on Capitol Hill possible,” added Feldman. “We hope to be back in person in 2022 with our much-anticipated Pet Night on Capitol Hill reception!” 

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 on Capitol Hill 2022. 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 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
New Survey Shows Cat Owners with Cat Allergen Sensitivities Go to Extraordinary Lengths to Manage Cat Allergens

For the as many as 1 in 5 adults globally who are affected by cat allergen sensitivities, the daily effort to manage cat allergens and coexist with the cats they love can be a struggle. From excessive cleaning around the house to spending less time with the cat, there are no easy choices. Despite these daily struggles, cat owners are willing to do whatever it takes to keep their cats, going as far as ignoring doctor’s orders. If told by their doctor to give up their cat to help manage cat allergens, 84 percent of cat owners would dismiss the advice. Twenty percent even said they would keep the cat and get a new doctor, showing the need for better management methods. These statistics are from a new survey[1] of 2,000 U.S. cat owners from Purina Pro Plan, a leader in pet nutrition, in partnership with the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI), which sought to understand the impact of cat allergens on cat-owning households. The survey confirmed that the bond that owners share with their cats is strong – a universal truth for all cat owners regardless of cat allergen sensitivities. Ninety percent of cat owners feel their cats are members of the family, and three in four owners say their relationship with their cat is important to and a core part of their health and well-being. But it’s not always easy for those with cat allergen sensitivities; 37 percent say they’ve had to change their lifestyle to accommodate their cat, significantly higher than those without sensitivities (22 percent). In an effort to help, Purina Pro Plan has introduced Pro Plan LiveClear, the first and only cat food that reduces the allergens in cat hair and dander. Backed by more than a decade of research, Pro Plan LiveClear is shown to safely and effectively reduce allergens in cat hair and dander in as little as three weeks of daily feeding. The key ingredient is a specific protein sourced from eggs. When cats eat LiveClear, the protein binds to the major cat allergen, Fel d 1, and...

Press Releases
Embrace Pet Insurance Supports Human-Animal Bond Research

The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) announced today that Embrace Pet Insurance, one of the highest-rated U.S. pet insurance companies, has become an official supporter of HABRI and its research on the human health benefits of companion animals. “When pet owners become part of the Embrace family, we strive to strengthen the human-animal bond, especially when pet parents need it most,” said Ambrish Jaiswal, CEO of Embrace Pet Insurance. “By supporting HABRI, Embrace Pet Insurance is proudly helping to advance human-animal bond research that demonstrates the positive role that healthy pets play in our lives.” “We know from research that pets are considered part of the family, and that pet owners want what’s best for their four-legged family members,” said Steven Feldman, Executive Director of HABRI. “Embrace helps to provide and sustain healthy pets, so that, as family, they are protected against unexpected accidents and illnesses.” Scientific evidence increasingly shows that pets improve heart health; alleviate depression; increase well-being; support child health and development; and contribute to healthy aging. In addition, companion animals can assist in the treatment of a broad range of conditions from post-traumatic stress to Alzheimer’s disease to autism spectrum disorder. The benefits of the human-animal bond impact more than just human health. Findings from a recent HABRI survey of 2,000 pet owners demonstrate that knowledge of the scientific research on the human-animal bond motivates pet owners to take better care of their pets. From providing pets with higher quality nutrition to purchasing pet health insurance, spreading awareness of the health benefits of pet ownership improves pet health and welfare. “Embrace believes in giving back to the pet care community, and supporting HABRI research is perfectly aligned with our company values. We look forward to playing a supportive role for HABRI and helping discover more ways in...

Press Releases
New Study to Investigate Impact of Pets on Recovery of the Gut Microbiome Following Antibiotic Regimen in Older Adults

The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) announced today it has awarded a new research grant, titled “Sharing is caring: can pets protect their owners against antibiotic-associated disruption of the gut microbiome?”, to the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) to investigate whether pets are a source of microbiota that can help restore deficiencies in their owner’s gut microbiome. “A growing number of studies have documented the ability of animal contact to impact the human microbiome (collection of microbes in the intestines) in ways that may help prevent certain types of disease, such as cardiovascular disease and asthma,” said Dr. Laurel Redding, VMD, PhD, DACVPM, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at Penn Vet, the project’s Principal Investigator. “In conducting this study, our goal is to shed light on the microbial exchanges that occur between pets and pet owners and assess whether pets can mitigate disruption of their owner’s gut microbiome following antibiotic therapy.” This groundbreaking project will follow pet owners over 60 years old who are taking antibiotics for dental implant placement. Antibiotics disrupt the native gut microbiome, which can result in a range of outcomes, from mild diarrhea to severe “C. diff” infection (infection with Clostridioides difficile), and the elderly are particularly at risk for some of these adverse outcomes. Recovery from this type of disruption is not well understood, and factors that promote this recovery are only beginning to be explored. Researchers hypothesize that the gut microbiomes of pet owners and their pets will resemble each other prior to the course of antibiotics, diverge during the disruption phase, then steadily converge during the recovery phase. In demonstrating that animal contact can yield beneficial effects on the restoration of the human gut microbiome, results of this study may reduce concerns about and even promote contact with household...

HABRI