Monday, March 21, 2011

Animal Issues Are People Issues

In training for animal disaster relief, one thing phrase that gets repeated frequently is, "Animal Issues Are People Issues."

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.

Referenced articles:

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