Pet Care Professionals Meet with Elected Officials on Capitol Hill
Pet care professionals recently had the opportunity to meet with elected officials on Capitol Hill in an effort to help lawmakers understand the positive impact pets have on humans. The meeting was set up by the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) as part of its 2nd annual Pet Care Community DC Fly-In.
“We at PIJAC take great pride in connecting the pet care community to their elected officials for productive discussions about legislation to improve the emotional and physical well-being of both people and pets,” said Mike Bober, president and CEO of PIJAC“The fly-in is an important opportunity to help lawmakers understand the extraordinary positive impact of pets, from the value of the human-animal bond to the significant role of pets in our nation’s economy.”
Participants—pet retailers, companion animal suppliers, product manufacturers and distributors—met with Members of Congress and their staff to advocate for legislation addressing veteran access to service animals, animals in education settings, protecting pet and public health through increased animal importation oversight and a resolution to the ongoing China trade issue.
Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH) spoke at a luncheon about bills they are sponsoring that seek to increase access to and funding for service animals to support veterans. Attendees also heard from Elena Bicker, executive director of Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation and its Pets and Vets program. Jacinthe Moreau and Vic Mason of the World Pet Association (WPA) presented Senator Stivers with a WPA “Pawsitive Impact” award.
John Mack, founder of Reptiles by Mack in Xenia, Ohio, shared his perspective of the meeting: “My experience during the fly-in has given me a unique appreciation for how complex legislation can be and how important it is for elected officials to hear from the responsible pet care community about the issues that are important to us. Pets and pet ownership are integral to our society’s health and well-being, and I’m honored to share that message with lawmakers.”