According to a growing body of research, the human-animal bond provides demonstrable health benefits for both people and pets. This is especially true for people who use therapy animals – which is why April 30 has been honored as National Therapy Animal Day.
There are over 150 animal therapy groups officially recognized across the country by the American Kennel Club. These groups provide training, education, support, and more for people suffering from a varietyof mental, emotional, and physical ailments. PIJAC is proud to stand with these important allies in human and animal care, including one of our Pet Night on Capitol Hill cosponsors, Pet Partners.
The next Pet Night on Capitol Hill won’t take place until October 4, 2017, but the responsible pet industry can take action now to make sure millions of Americans aren’t cut off from the benefits of having a companion animal. Hawaii, New Jersey, and California are considering bans on the sales of several species of household pets, while Florida’s legislature is deliberating passage of a duplicative $600,000 program implemented that inappropriately targets non-invasive species. And Arlington County, Virginia is inappropriately including snakes over 10 pounds and sugar gliders in a proposed ban on wild and exotic animals.
There are also many beneficial bills that lawmakers have introduced. For example, a bill in Rhode Island would eliminate taxes on groomers, boarders, and others – thus increasing the price of services for pet owners and increasing costs for mom-and-pop businesses. Likewise, the Springfield, Missouri City Council may eliminate breed-specific restrictions in a vote expected later this month.
PIJAC is engaged on all of these and more, but we can’t do it alone. Join our state and local partners in fighting for responsible pet ownership and the human-animal bond, and keep abreast of important issues by becoming a PIJAC member.