Press release: Pet Partners / Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council
Pet Partners, the nation’s leading organization in registering therapy animals for animal-assisted interventions, and the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC), the advocacy voice for the responsible pet care community, teamed up to bring therapy dogs to Capitol Hill on November 13 – the same day public impeachment hearings began. Stress levels were high in the halls of Congress, but in the Rayburn and Hart office buildings, there were steady streams of staffers de-stressing with wet noses and wagging tails.
Hundreds of staffers, visitors and more than a few members of Congress participated in the Meet the Pets event, where attendees were invited to cuddle up next to a therapy animal and learn more about the beneficial impacts of animal-assisted interventions and the human-animal bond.
“We wanted to provide members of both parties a nonpartisan topic that everyone could agree on — and that is the health and joy pets bring to our lives,” said Mary Margaret Callahan, chief mission officer at Pet Partners. “There was a lot happening on Capitol Hill, and we were happy that our therapy dogs could provide stress relief, happiness, and friendly interaction to those who needed it.”
Scientific research shows that the human-animal bond has a positive impact on human health and well-being, including cardiovascular disease, stress, blood pressure, sleep, depression and anxiety. Companion animals have even been shown to help people increase communication and social connections.
“Every time we bring therapy animals to Capitol Hill, members of Congress and their staff come in droves to take a break from their demanding workloads,” said Mike Bober, PIJAC president and CEO. “We at PIJAC work to ensure that responsible prospective pet owners are able to bring a healthy pet into their home, so we were eager to let staffers who may not have pets at home experience the benefits of interacting with therapy animals, even if just for the day.”