Pet Night on Capitol Hill Delivers the Message: Pets are Important to Our Health and Wellbeing

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The Pet Leadership Council and Human Animal Bond Research Institute Hosted Pet Night on Capitol Hill where Senators and Representatives heard from the pet care community that pets and pet-friendly policies are important for human health and quality of life

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Higgins, a registered Pet Partners therapy animal, had Congress’ attention last night at Pet Night on Capitol Hill. Photo: John Harrington Photography

Guests at Pet Night had the opportunity to interact with registered therapy animals and experience first-hand their power to relieve stress and bring people together

The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) and the Pet Leadership Council (PLC) brought the power of pets to Congress last night at Pet Night on Capitol Hill. At a packed event, Senators and Representatives heard from the pet care community that pets and pet-friendly policies are important for human health and quality of life.

“Pet Night provides the opportunity to remind our elected representatives that more than 80 million U.S. households have pets, and there is growing scientific evidence that pet ownership leads to improved health and better quality of life for both people and animals,” said Bob Vetere, PLC and HABRI Chairman. “Research has shown that pets support child health and development, promote healthy aging, improve heart health, and also help families dealing with cancer, autism, and PTSD.”

Guests at Pet Night had the opportunity to interact with registered therapy animals and experience first-hand their power to relieve stress and bring people together. They also heard from pet care industry leaders, the veterinary community, animal welfare advocates, research organizations, and Members of Congress about the importance of pet ownership in America.

The Pet Leadership Council and HABRI also conferred Pets’ Best Friend awards on more than a dozen members of Congress for their support for pet-friendly legislation. The Cutest Pets on Capitol Hill were honored by the Animal Health Institute for the tenth year in a row, recognizing Congressional companions from both sides of the aisle.

The pet care community supports bipartisan legislation that taps into the power of the human-animal bond to heal and to help, including measures to provide service dogs to veterans with post-traumatic stress and to help survivors of domestic violence find safe shelter for their pets.

“We hope Members of Congress will support these important policies that will protect and save lives through the power of the human-animal bond,” Vetere added.

Pet Night on Capitol Hill is an annual event. For more information, please visit http://www.petnight.com. Images available upon request.

Pet Leadership Council
The Pet Leadership Council is made up of pet care industry leaders, animal welfare advocates, veterinarians and academia who envision a world where pets and people thrive together.Together, they are promoting responsible pet ownership and improving the access to, health, and well-being of companion animals. For more information, please visit http://www.petleadershipcouncil.org.

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 http://www.habri.org.

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Jamie Baxter

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