Pet Week on Capitol Hill Goes Virtual to Celebrate Importance of Pets During the Pandemic

Hosted by the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI), Pet Week on Capitol Hill will bring the power of pets to Capitol Hill, delivering the message to elected representatives that pets are important for human health and wellbeing, especially during these unprecedented times. In an effort to safeguard the health and safety of all, Pet Night on Capitol Hill, the popular, in-person annual reception has been converted to a series of virtual conversations to be held September 8-10, 2020.

“Pets have become even more important during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Steven Feldman, Executive Director of HABRI. “Pet Week on Capitol Hill will feature conversations with Members of Congress and pet care leaders about the importance of pet ownership in America.”

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In addition to a wealth of information about pets and related policies and legislation that will strengthen the human-animal bond, Pet Week will still include the much-anticipated Cutest Pets on Capitol competition! Pet Week on Capitol Hill is a free event, with all programming streaming from

The full schedule is listed below:

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

4:00 PM- 4:45 PM EDT
Pet Nation: The Importance of Pets in America

  • Mark Cushing Author, Pet Nation
  • Steven Feldman Executive Director, HABRI

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

12:00 PM- 12:45 PM EDT
Lifesaving Pet-Related Legislation: A Discussion Of Important Initiatives That Will Help Keep Pets And People Safe, Healthy And Happy Together

  • Dr. Kurt Venator, DVM, PhD, Chief Veterinary Officer, Nestlé Purina PetCare (and his puppy Emmie)
  • Nicole Forsyth, President & CEO, RedRover
  • Nicole Lanahan, Executive Director, Got Your Six Support Dogs

4:00 PM- 4:45 PM EDT
One Health Act: The Role of Veterinary Medicine in Preventing Future Pandemics

  • Representative Kurt Schrader (OR-5)

Thursday, September 10, 2020

12:00 PM- 12:45 PM EDT
Pet Ownership and Pet Industry Economics in the Post-COVID World

  • Steve King, President & CEO, American Pet Products Association
  • Dave Bolen Industry Specialist, Graham Partners

4:00 PM- 4:45 PM EDT
COVID-19 Impact on Pet Fostering and Adoption

  • Susanne Kogut, President, Petco Foundation

5:00 PM- 5:45 PM EDT
Cutest Pets on Capitol Hill: Honoring the Cutest Congressional Companions from Both Sides of the Aisle

  • Presented by the Animal Health Institute (AHI)

Please visit to add sessions to your calendars, submit questions to the speakers, and sign-up early for Pet Night on Capitol Hill 2021. All programs will be available on-demand after initial broadcast.

“We plan to be back with Pet Night on Capitol Hill next year to celebrate in person with the pets that we love so much,” added Feldman. “Until then, we hope that virtual Pet Week will be helpful, and that all of the participating pet care organizations will serve as valuable resources for our friends on Capitol Hill.”

The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) is a not-for-profit organization that maintains the world’s largest online library of human-animal bond research and information; funds innovative research projects to scientifically document the health benefits of companion animals; and informs the public about human-animal bond research and the beneficial role of companion animals in society. For more information, please visit

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