Bringing the Power of Pets to Capital Hill
You’re invited to deliver the message to elected representatives that pets are important for human health and quality of life.
Pet ownership in America is important. You know it, we at the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) know it and the greater pet care community knows it. But it’s just as important that our elected representatives are aware of the true scope and positive impact of pet ownership—and your participation in the 2nd Annual Pet Care Community Fly-In this Sept. 18 in Washington, D.C., is an essential part of securing their awareness and support.
Pet care professionals from around the country will come together to deliver the critical message to elected officials that pets are important for human health and quality of life. These lawmakers make decisions on trade tariffs, breeder rules, pet food regulations, environmental policies and more—all of which could have significant impacts on your business.
Last year’s inaugural event drew 74 attendees who visited 105 elected officials’ offices. The feedback from both the industry professionals who participated and the members of Congress and their staff that we met with was so positive, we plan to carry our pet care community’s message to over 200 offices in 2019. To do that, we need you there!
This is a unique opportunity to support the pet trade, let your elected officials know what issues are important to you in a face-to-face setting and make connections with other like-minded pet care professionals.
Even better, PIJAC does all the groundwork for you. We set up the meetings, give you talking points on industry-wide issues and provide materials for you to leave with the lawmakers. All you need to do is show up with your personal stories of who you are, what you do and the impact local, state and federal laws have on you, your family, your business and your community.
There will also be special briefings where you’ll learn about the importance of pet ownership in America, the latest scientific evidence of the benefits of the human-animal bond, and updates on the political, regulatory and legislative landscape in Washington and how it affects you.
During last years’ fly-in, we worked to build support for the Pet and Women Safety Act and the Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers Act. The entire pet care community was thrilled when the Pet and Women Safety Act was passed into law in December as part of the broader Farm Bill legislation.
This year, the federal issues we’ll be focusing on include support for animals in educational settings, “hot cars” laws to protect animals and children and providing for service animals for military veterans, among others.
In the evening, you’re invited to attend the annual Pet Night on Capitol Hill reception in the Longworth House Office Building. It is hosted by the Pet Leadership Council, the Human Animal Bond Research Institute, and new this year, the Pet Food Institute. The pet care community comes together with members of Congress and their staff to relax and strengthen relationships at this complimentary event with presentations, awards, refreshments and special guests such as therapy dog teams from our friends at Pet Partners. The PLC will also present their Pets’ Best Friend awards, which recognize lawmakers for their support of companion animals and those who serve them.
Making sure elected officials know your concerns as a member of the pet care community is an important part of protecting and strengthening your business, and PIJAC can help you engage at all levels of government throughout the year. Join PIJAC today at pijac.org/join to stay informed and add your support as we work to protect and strengthen the pet care community.
Please RSVP for Pet Night on Capitol Hill at petnightoncapitolhill.com to let us know you’re coming and get updates on the discounted hotel block, the complete agenda and other details.
We look forward to seeing you in our nation’s capital in September! PB
Gwyn Donohue is the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council’s Director of Communications and Public Affairs.