September 25, 2023

Pet Night on Capitol Hill Celebrates America’s Love of Pets

The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI), the Pet Food Institute (PFI) and the Pet Advocacy Network co-hosted Pet Night on Capitol Hill last week, celebrating the important role pets play in our lives. Pet Night brought together Members of Congress, Congressional staff and leaders in the pet care community to share programs, policies and key data making a clear case that pets positively impact our mental, physical and social health.

“Pet Night on Capitol Hill shares the message with Congress that pet-friendly policies and programs not only keep people and pets together but also make us healthier,” said Vic Mason, President of the World Pet Association (WPA) and presenting sponsor of Pet Night.

“HABRI is proud to co-host Pet Night on Capitol Hill, bringing everyone who loves and cares for pets together,” said Steven Feldman, President of HABRI. “Pets unite us!”

At the event, the pets stole the show, including Pet Partners therapy animal-handler teams; Winston the French Bulldog, 2022 National Dog Show Best In Show Champion, provided by Purina; and adoptable puppies and kittens from Petco Love.

The Animal Health Institute (AHI) honored the winners of the Cutest Pets on Capitol Hill contest, now in its fifteenth year, recognizing the most adorable animals belonging to Members of Congress and their staff.

Cutest Dog: Sandwich
Owner: Megan Guiltinan
Office of Rep. Andy Barr (KY-06)

Cutest Cat: Henry
Owner: Emily Hall
Office of Rep. Nathaniel Moran (TX-01)

Cutest Exotic: Razz (Horse)
Owner: Kirby Tidmore
Office of Rep. Kevin Hern (OK-01)

“This event is a fantastic opportunity to bring together members from both parties to share our mutual affection and admiration for our pets. It’s also a great reminder that ensuring the health and safety of our pets and animals is crucial for both their wellbeing and ours,” said Rep. Kim Schrier (WA-08). “In Congress, I’ve continued to advocate for animal health through legislation like ADUFA to get new, innovative, safe veterinary medications to market. I’m glad to partner with AHI to celebrate our pets and bring awareness to this important issue.”

“As a pet owner myself, I know first-hand the importance of pets in our lives,” said Congressman Greg Pence (IN-6). “I am excited to be a judge of the 15th annual Cutest Pets Contest and I want to extend my thanks to the Animal Health Institute for organizing this event and all of the beneficial work they do.”

“There’s a reason why Animal Health Institute’s Cutest Pets on Capitol Hill has been a highly anticipated event for 15 years, and it’s the strength of the human-animal bond,” said Alex Mathews, President and CEO of AHI. “The animal health industry is committed to supporting the bond by keeping animals healthy, and we’re proud to come together with the entire pet care community each year at Pet Night in celebration of healthy pets and the policies that support our collective well-being.”

The Pet Advocacy Network’s “Pets’ Best Friend” award was conferred upon three Members of Congress who have demonstrated a commitment to supporting pets and pet owners. Congresswoman Angie Craig of Minnesota, Congressman Dusty Johnson of South Dakota and Congressman Glenn “GT” Thompson of Pennsylvania were all recognized for their tireless service on behalf of companion animals and those who serve and support them.

“After meeting face-to-face with Members of Congress today, it remains clear that everyone, regardless of political party or ideology, appreciates the power of pets,” said Pet Advocacy Network President and CEO Mike Bober. “We were honored to recognize these Members of Congress with the Pets’ Best Friend award as an expression of our gratitude for their leadership in supporting pet ownership in America and to once again co-host this important celebration of the human-animal bond.”

“It is an honor to co-host Pet Night once again in 2023,” said Dana Brooks, President and CEO of PFI. “Pet Night is an exciting event and a valuable opportunity to meet with Members of Congress who advocate for policies that enhance the health and welfare of our beloved pets. Pets enrich our lives in so many ways and it is important to showcase how our industry is finding ways to support the long and healthy lives of our companion animals.”

Pet Night is part of Pet Week on Capitol Hill, a week-long series of virtual programming and in-person visits. Virtual 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 sessions from Pet Week on Capitol Hill are now available to view on-demand here, where people can also sign up to be invited to Pet Night on Capitol Hill 2024.

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