Power of Pets Celebrated During Pet Advocacy Network’s D.C. Fly-In and Awards



WASHINGTON – Sept. 21, 2023 – The power of pets was evident on September 20 as members of the responsible pet care community held over 100 meetings with Members of Congress and their staff on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Organized by the Pet Advocacy Network, the sixth annual Pet Care Community D.C. Fly-In drew nearly 90 pet care professionals from around the United States, including neighborhood pet store owners, major retailers, companion animal suppliers, product manufacturers and distributors, and more. It was the largest number of participants in the history of the fly-in.

“We are proud that this annual event that connects elected officials with the pet care community for productive discussions about legislation is larger than ever before,” said Pet Advocacy Network President and CEO Mike Bober. “The fly-in and the Pet Night on Capitol Hill celebration both serve to help lawmakers understand the positive impact of pets, including the emotional and physical health benefits of the human-animal bond as well as pet care’s contribution to the nation’s economy.”

Fly-in participants met with Members of Congress and their staff throughout the day to advocate for legislation to expand veteran access to service animals, protect pet and public health through increased animal importation oversight, prevent unnecessary barriers to nonnative pet species import and transport, and use science and data when updating animal care regulations.

During the evening’s Pet Night on Capitol Hill event, the Pet Advocacy Network presented “Pets’ Best Friend” awards to Congresswoman Angie Craig of Minnesota, Congressman Dusty Johnson of South Dakota, and Congressman Glenn “GT” Thompson of Pennsylvania. The three Members of Congress were all recognized for their commitment to supporting pets and pet owners and their ongoing service on behalf of companion animals and those who serve and support them. The event was co-hosted by Pet Advocacy Network, the Human-Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) and Pet Food Institute.

“It is critically important that when elected officials make decisions on legislation that could impact pets or pet ownership, that they know that pets are an essential part of our society that brings so many benefits to families and communities,” said John Mack, fly-in participant, Pet Advocacy Network Board Chair, and founder of Reptiles by Mack in Xenia, Ohio. “It is an honor and a privilege to share the message of the incredible power of pets with our nation’s lawmakers.”


About Pet Advocacy Network

The Pet Advocacy Network connects the experience and expertise of the responsible pet care community to lawmakers and governing bodies, advocating for legislative and regulatory priorities at the local, state, federal and international levels. Since 1971, the organization has worked to promote animal well-being and responsible pet ownership, foster environmental stewardship, and ensure access to healthy pets, including small animals, cats, dogs, fish, reptiles and birds. Pet Advocacy Network members include retailers, companion animal suppliers, manufacturers, wholesale distributors, manufacturers’ representatives, pet hobbyists, and other trade organizations.


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Gwyn Donohue
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