Human Animal Bond
We are dedicated to protecting and increasing opportunities to experience the human-animal bond through pet ownership and animal-assisted interactions.
Pets make us happy and healthy, and that’s just one of the reasons why over two-thirds of American homes have a pet. The scientifically-proven benefits of pet ownership, including improved physical and mental health, are worth protecting so future generations can enjoy the love and companionship of pets.
what we work on
Pets in Educational Settings (AEIOU)
The value of classroom pets in realizing positive outcomes on students’ mental health is well-supported with scientific data. Studies have shown that students’ social skills, social competence and academic reading improve, and hyperactivity and inattention decrease. We are working for the introduction of legislation to create a dedicated source of funding from the Department of Education that programs can tap into to support efforts to introduce and care for pets in classrooms.
Service Animals for Veterans (PAWS)
As the body of research involving the health benefits of service animals to persons suffering from a variety of physical and mental injuries continues to grow, we are supporting legislative proposals that seek to increase their availability to veterans through programs supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs. One of these, the Puppies Assisting Wounded Service members (PAWS) for Veterans Therapy Act, became law in August 2021, directing funds to programs that connect veterans with service dog providers as well as programs that involve veterans in the training of the service dogs themselves.
Pet Housing Limitations (PAWS – DVS, public housing)
No one should have to choose between keeping a beloved pet and their own personal safety. Yet many domestic violence victims remain in abusive homes out of fear that the pet they had to leave behind will be harmed. We support legislation that removes roadblocks to pet companionship in housing, whether it be domestic violence shelters, rental housing or more. The Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act was enacted as part of the 2018 Farm Bill, and established grants for domestic violence shelters or programs to help domestic violence victims secure safe housing with or for their pet.
Always on watch.
Unfortunately, the ability of Americans to enjoy the human-animal bond is often under threat from the national level down to local ordinances that prohibit or restrict certain animals or impose misdirected or overly restrictive policies that harm responsible pet owners and businesses. We actively track this type of legislation and act for the interests of pet lovers everywhere.
Explore Our Policy Priorities
Pet Ownership Barriers
Challenging barriers that prevent pet owners, businesses, and hobbyists from the joys and rights of pet ownership.Learn More
Pet Health & Availability
Ensuring pet lovers have access to healthy, well-treated pets and the products & services needed to care for them.Learn More
Using educational outreach and policy to bring science-based best practices to the pet care community.Learn More
More About Us
Discover why the Pet Advocacy Network exists and why protecting the right to own pets is important to everyoneLearn More
See the impact we’re having through direct action on issues that affect the pet care communityLearn More
Who We Serve
Learn about who makes up the pet care community — from pet lovers, to retailers to manufacturersLearn More
Pet Defense Funds
Help us ensure the public’s right to responsible pet ownership is preservedLearn More