Washington, D.C. (September 22, 2022) — The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI), the Pet Food Institute (PFI) and the Pet Advocacy Network co-hosted Pet Night on Capitol Hill for the first time since the pandemic began, celebrating the important role pets play in our lives. Pet Night brought together Members of Congress and leaders in the pet care community to share programs, policies, and key data about how the human-animal bond positively impacts our mental, physical and social health.
“The pet care community is thrilled to be back in person to share the power of pets with Congress,” said Steven Feldman, President of HABRI. “Pet Night on Capitol Hill shares the message that pets have a measurable impact on our health and well-being, and that there are tangible measures policymakers can take to support pets and their owners.”
Plenty of pets were in attendance, including Pet Partners therapy animal-handler teams; Trumpet the Westminster Best in Show Winner, provided by Purina; and Biscuit, the Washington Capitals service dog in training, provided by Mars Petcare.
“It was exciting to once again meet face-to-face with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to advocate for positive pet policies, then finish the day with a celebration of all that pets bring to our lives,” said Pet Advocacy Network President and CEO Mike Bober. “We are committed today and every day to helping all Americans find and care for their ideal companions and experience the incredible benefits of pet ownership and animal-assisted interactions.”
The Animal Health Institute (AHI) honored the winners of the Cutest Pets on Capitol Hill contest, now in its fourteenth year, recognizing the most adorable animals owned by Members of Congress and their staff.
Cutest Dog: Louis
Owner: Alyssa Gulick
Office of Rep. Bill Johnson (OH-6)
Cutest Cat: Kit
Owner: Jesse Ferguson
Office of Rep. Mike Flood (NE-1)
Cutest Exotic: Charlie (horse)
Owner: Gray Maxwell
Office of Senator Ben Cardin (MD)
“The human-animal bond keeps getting stronger and stronger, which is why we enjoy celebrating this connection with the Cutest Pets Contest,” said Alex Mathews, President and CEO of AHI. “The availability of medicines to keep animals healthy plays an important role in promoting this relationship. The animal health industry is proud to provide the medicines and therapies that enable pets to live healthy lives.”
Pet Night paid special tribute to Congressman Kurt Schrader (OR-5) with the “Human-Animal Bond Lifetime Achievement Award” to recognize his dedication to animal health and the human-animal bond. Throughout his impressive career, Congressman Schrader, currently the only veterinarian in Congress, was instrumental in developing legislation to safeguard the integrated health of people and companion animals.
“Throughout my time in Congress, I’ve always looked forward to Pet Night and the Cutest Pets on Capitol Hill Contest. It’s opportunities like these that effectively spread the word to pet owners, the public and my colleagues about the important benefits pets bring to our lives, and the vital role veterinary medicine plays in safeguarding public health,” said Representative Schrader. “It was also my honor to receive the Human-Animal Bond Lifetime Achievement Award. I am so proud to have championed the human-animal bond throughout my time in Congress and hope to inspire my colleagues and others to continue to support policies and legislation that advance the health of people and their pets.”
Pet Night is now part of Pet Week on Capitol Hill, a week-long series of virtual programming and in-person visits. Sessions share key data about how pets are important for human health and quality of life and highlight the most pressing issues relating to pet ownership in America. 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 2023.
Pet Night on Capitol Hill is an annual event sponsored by the pet care community. For more information, please visit www.petnight.com. Images available upon request.
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 http://www.habri.org.
About the Pet Food Institute
Established in 1958, Pet Food Institute (PFI) is the trade association and the voice of U.S. cat and dog food manufacturers. Our members account for the vast majority of the dog and cat food made in the United States, with more than $50 billion in domestic annual dog and cat food sales and annual exports of more than $2 billion. PFI membership also includes companies that supply ingredients, equipment and services to dog and cat food makers.
About Pet Advocacy Network
The Pet Advocacy Network, formerly known as the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC), connects the experience and expertise of the responsible pet care community to lawmakers and governing bodies, advocating for legislative and regulatory priorities at the local, state, federal and international levels. Since 1971, the organization has worked to promote animal well-being and responsible pet ownership, foster environmental stewardship, and ensure access to healthy pets, including small animals, cats, dogs, fish, reptiles and birds. Pet Advocacy Network members include retailers, companion animal suppliers, manufacturers, wholesale distributors, manufacturers’ representatives, pet hobbyists, and other trade organizations.
About the Animal Health Institute
The Animal Health Institute (AHI) represents the companies that develop and produce animal medicines. Our industry is a global leader whose products improve the health of nearly 10 billion companion and food-producing animals in the U.S., which results in significant economic and social benefits for Americans.
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