This sounds like second nature to animal lovers. I can see, however, how those who don't have an animal or don't view animals as family members might not make the connection. Consider the following statistics:
- 57% of households in the United States have at least one companion animal. 67% of those homes have dogs, 33% have cats, 9% have exotics or small animals.
- This equates to close to 93 million cats and 77 million dogs.
- 9 of 10 families consider their pets to be "a member of the family".
- 1 in 3 pet owners have photographs of their pets displayed in their homes.
- Over 80% of pet owners admit to talking to their pets, a significant amount report that they believe their pets seem to 'sense' or 'understand' their moods.
- 25% of those surveyed say they have missed a day of work to care for a sick pet.
- 90% of Americans believe that senior citizens, the handicapped, and special-needs children will have more satisfying and complete lives if they have a companion animal.
What does this mean? It means that companion animals are a huge part of our lives, economy, and emotional well-being. Helping animals means helping their people. Bringing people and animals together means building families.