WASHINGTON — Pet Week on Capitol Hill, hosted by the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI), was held Sept. 18 to 22 in Washington, DC. The annual event brought together members of Congress, pet industry leaders, the veterinary community, animal welfare advocates and research organizations to share information and discussions about the value of the human-animal bond and the important role pets serve.

Throughout Pet Week, industry association representatives met with Congressional leaders and other industry advocates to discuss issues, legislation and initiatives prioritizing pet care. Pet Week participants also had the opportunity to learn from on-demand presentations throughout the week including:

  • “The Power of the Human-Animal Bond”
  • “Veterinary and Pet Issues in Congress”
  • “Pet Legislation: Keeping Pets and Their People Together”
  • “Strategic Insights from the National Pet Owners Survey”
  • “Loneliness, Social Isolation & Companion Animals”
  • “Pets Are Family: The Case For a National Conversation on Pets in Shelters”

The highlight of Pet Week was Pet Night on Capitol Hill, an in-person reception held at the Cannon Building in the Capitol, co-hosted by HABRI, the Pet Food Institute and the Pet Advocacy Network. Also in attendance were leaders from the World Pet Association (WPA) and American Pet Products Association (APPA). The event gave Congress members the opportunity to network with pet care community leaders and organizations, as well as some new four-legged friends.

“We are united in the mission to keep people and pets healthy and happy because we believe in the power of the human-animal bond — the power of pets,” said Vic Mason, president of the WPA, during Pet Night.

French bulldog Winston, Best in Show winner of the 2022 National Dog Show

French bulldog Winston, Best in Show winner of the 2022 National Dog Show, stole the show at Pet Night. 

| Source: Sosland Publishing Co. / Kimberlie Clyma

During the evening, the Pet Advocacy Network presented “Pets’ Best Friend” awards to Representatives Angie Craig (D-Minn.), Dusty Johnson (R-SD) and Glenn “GT” Thompson (R- Pa.) The three representatives were recognized for their commitment to supporting pets and pet owners and their ongoing service on behalf of companion animals.

Winners of the annual Cutest Pets on Capitol Hill Contest were also announced during Pet Night. Cutest Dog winner was Sandwich, owned by Megan Guiltinan from the office of Representative Andy Barr (R-Ky.); Cutest Cat winner was Henry, owned by Emily Hall from the office of Representative Nathaniel Moran (R-Texas); and Cutest Exotic Pet winner was Razz, a horse owned by Kirby Tidmore from the office of Representative Kevin Hern (R-Okla.).

As expected, pets were stars of the show at the annual Pet Night event. In addition to a number of four-legged friends in attendance including service dogs and local up-for-adoption puppies and kittens, French bulldog Winston, Best in Show winner of the 2022 National Dog Show, stole the show posing for photo ops with attendees.

Read more about pet food and treat industry events.