Press release: Pet Partners
With a commitment to create a positive effect for Pet Partners employees, volunteers and communities they serve, especially those who are LGBTQ+ and their allies, Pet Partners has been presented with the global Pride 365 Certification from InterPride, a network of LGBTI Pride organizations around the world that raise awareness of cultural, social, and legal inequality and to effect positive change through education, collaboration, advocacy and outreach.
This certification recognizes that Pet Partners, the nation’s leading organization registering therapy animals for animal-assisted interventions (AAI), is devoted to its global commitment to the LGBTQ+ community, including its volunteers and therapy animal handlers, and the people and communities they serve. The Pride 365 Certification evaluates culture, staff satisfaction, policy, community outreach and marketing. The certification is awarded for authenticity, and companies must match several criteria to be awarded, as well as undergo an inclusion assessment employee survey. Companies must first score a minimum baseline performance and then publicly commit to a path of incremental improvement year over year.
“Supporting the LGTBQ+ community—those who are our employees, therapy animal handlers, and on the receiving end of our therapy animal work—is vital to our values as an organization,” said C. Annie Peters, president and CEO of Pet Partners. “As a leader in the field of animal-assisted interventions, receiving the Pride 365 Certification further reinforces our commitment and empowers us to honor that commitment 365 days a year. We hope this sets the standard for others in our field as well.”
As part of the certification process, Pet Partners has pledged to be supportive of LGBTQ+ inclusion on a daily basis to help ultimately create a world of inclusion for all. The pledge also includes a public commitment to a set of realistic goals to achieve LGBTQ+ inclusion in the workplace and throughout the LGBTQ+ community and is a clear sign that Pet Partners is committed not just during Pride Month, but throughout the year.
“Pride 365 and its certification process is for those companies or organizations that are genuine and authentic in their support of the LGBTQ+ community,” said Jack Mizel, CEO of Pride 365. “There is a fundamental difference between a company showing up at a Pride event, waving a rainbow flag and believing they have done their bit, and one which provides its staff with true equality of opportunity, and recognizes and values the LGBTQ+ community 365 days of the year, not just during Pride season. We’re thrilled Pet Partners has passed the certification process and look forward to supporting and helping them achieve their objectives over the coming years.”
Pet Partners is the national leader in demonstrating and promoting the health and wellness benefits of animal-assisted therapy, activities and education. Since the organization’s inception in 1977, the science proving these benefits has become indisputable. With thousands of registered teams making millions of visits annually, Pet Partners serves as the nation’s most diverse and respected nonprofit registering handlers of multiple species as volunteer teams. Pet Partners teams visit with patients in recovery, people with intellectual disabilities, seniors living with Alzheimer’s, students, veterans with PTSD, people who have experienced crisis events and those approaching end of life, with the goal of improving human health and well-being through the human-animal bond. With the release of its Standards of Practice for Animal-Assisted Interventions and international expansion, Pet Partners is globally recognized as the industry gold standard.
Pride 365 believes that every year during pride season it sees rainbow flags everywhere and suddenly they are gone, yet the LGBT+ community hasn’t. Pride 365 took its name to embody this message that Pride and the community it represents exists long before the first rainbow flag is spotted to long after the last rainbow sandwich box disappears. Through its Certification Program, Pride 365 works with businesses of all sizes nationally and globally that are committed to making the lives of the LGBT+ community better year-round – both within their own business and in wider society. Pride 365, based out of the U.K., is a global partner of InterPride, the organization that ties Prides together worldwide.