Autistic Students Benefit from Interaction with Classroom Pets

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It doesn’t take long for classroom pets to become classroom friends for young students—especially those with autism. Multiple studies have shown that students with behavioral and social issues are positively impacted by interaction with a classroom pet—and teachers agree:

“We have seen a great turnaround in classroom behavior, now that we have our classroom pet, Buddy Boudreaux (guinea pig).  I work with students on the autism spectrum in grades 5-6. We have many moments of frustration and sensory overload that often lead to meltdowns within our classroom setting. Buddy has helped so many of our students feel better when they get to just sit and read to him. They look forward to earning reward time to hold him, interact with him, and help with some of his pet responsibilities (such as feeding, filling water bottle, etc.).”

Jennifer Porche
special education teacher
Florence, AL

“I have a couple of Autistic students and [Charlie the Bearded Dragon] often sits with them and helps them on days when things are out of sorts. It is amazing! The biggest success story for Charlie is that we have a student in an emotional/behavioral class that has a really hard time fitting in. He gets very angry at times, and when the teachers weren’t able to calm him down with the usual strategies, we found [him] just holding and talking to Charlie for a few minutes—works every time.  He simply comes to my room, and we take Charlie out, and he holds, rubs, and feeds him by hand, and that does it. It’s like a small miracle.”

Erica Hornick
4th grade teacher
Toccoa, GA

Jennifer and Erica aren’t the only teachers who have benefitted from the use of a classroom pet. Through the Pets in the Classroom grant program, over three million children in over 70,000 classrooms throughout the US and Canada have gotten to experience pet care through classroom pets. The American Pet Products Association supports the work of Pets in the Classroom. To find out more, or to apply for a grant to bring a pet into your classroom, visit http://www.petsintheclassroom.org.

Introducing the NEW Pets Forever® Stamps

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On Tuesday, August 2nd, Bob Vetere spoke at the Pets Forever® First-Day-of-Issue event hosted by Superzoo at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. On behalf of the Pet Leadership Council, Bob shared remarks on responsible pet ownership while also joining in the excitement of the debut of the new pet-themed stamp!

PETS SHEETPostage stamps have highlighted dogs and cats in the past with the previously released series, Adopt a Shelter Pet promoted by Ellen DeGeneres in 2009. However, th
is is especially exciting for the pet industry because in addition to dogs and cats, these new Pets Forever stamps feature all kinds of pets, from iguanas and hermit crabs, to snakes and horses! Animal owners everywhere can share their love for their favorite companions with these new colorful postage stamps! Break out the stationary, find a new pen pal and support the new designs by purchasing your booklet online or at a USPS location near you!

With the Release of Finding Dory Comes Responsibility

With the release of Finding Dory boosting interest in fish keeping, the Pet Leadership Council (PLC) wants to make sure people are educated on the care needs of a specific pet before getting one. For example, the blue tang fish, like Dory herself, can grow up to 17 inches, requires an aquarium the size of a couch and can’t be grown for pets, they have to be taken from the ocean.Here are some core principles that back the pet industry’s commitment to responsible fishkeeping:

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  • Promote and advance aquaculture efforts for captive breeding of all marine life
  • Establish standards for responsible and sustainable collection and handling of all marine life
  • Celebrate the educational and health benefits associated with fish keeping
  • Educate consumers on responsible fish keeping

Part of being a responsible fish keeper is selecting the right fish and appropriate aquarium, understanding proper care instructions and preventing invasive species. To help educate consumers on these topics, the PLC launched a new website that includes a fun, interactive game to teach proper fishkeeping.

PLC members are also actively supporting the work of Rising Tide Conservation, whose mission is to protect coral reefs.

For other educational resources and guidelines for selecting the right fish, please visit Disney or Habitattitude.

Pet Ownership Among Generations: A New Report

“It’s critical that the pet industry pay close attention to trends in pet ownership by generation…”

– Bob Vetere, President and CEO of the American Pet Products Association

Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 4.43.51 PMThe APPA National Pet Owners Survey: Generational Report is now available and it includes everything from how each generation becomes aware of pet products to the specific types of pet products purchased, how important brand names are to each generation and more. The full report is more than 65 pages long and it’s packed with information that will give you a solid snapshot of where you need to be focusing your efforts to ensure continued growth in the industry.

Want to reach millennials searching for new pet products? You’ll find them online.

Want to reach Baby Boomers looking for pet products online? You can find them on product review sites.

Reporting data by generation has become more common across many industries in an attempt to learn how consumers behave differently according to their age, and ours is the first of its kind for the pet industry.

Specific areas of research found in the report:

  • How the four generations behave differently by leisure activities they participate in
  • The amount of time they spend using various media
  • Veterinarian visits and the services they obtain
  • Which generation is willing to spend more on their pets’ health
  • Generational preference toward different types of pet foods and treats
  • Which generation purchases more gifts and holds parties for their pets
  • How the presence of children influences each generation

The APPA Generational Report is available for purchase for $300 for APPA members and $500 for non-members.

Human Health Benefits of Pets at Work

Before leaving the house for work in the morning, most people make sure they have everything they need like a laptop, cell phone, keys, but this week you might want to make sure you grab the leash too.

That’s right! Friday, June 24th is Take Your Dog to Work Day® and companies across the country will have furry companions delivering snuggles, smiles and major cuteness. What’s more is that their soft snuggles and sweet kisses have added benefits behind the scenes.

Scientific research shows bringing companion animals to the office can improve employee health and reduce stress. Studies have also indicated that bringing dogs to the office helps motivate, engage and boost employee satisfaction and retention.

If you’d like to have your employer consider allowing pets at work, Pet Sitters International prepared a toolkit to help you persuade your boss to participate in Take Your Dog to Work Day®.

The American Pet Products Association encourages supporters to obtain additional information and education about the benefits of pets in the workplace, and we hope to see furry faces in more offices across the country each year.

If your company allows pets in the office, share photos with us on our Facebook page, and while you’re at it, check out our everyday office pets.

10 Reasons to Attend Global Pet Expo

The Greatest Show On Earth is just four short months away. If you are still on the fence about attending, here are 10 reasons why you should:

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  1. See more than 3,000 new products and find the ones you need to grow your business
  2. Work with suppliers to maximize value and increase sales
  3. Cash in on show specials and discounts only available at Global Pet Expo
  4. Find new suppliers and products to expand your merchandise mix
  5. Learn how to optimize product display and selections
  6. Discover new strategies to build brand and customer loyalty
  7. Improve product knowledge to enhance your relationship with customers
  8. Explore new ways to connect with your community and boost store traffic
  9. Discover how retailers reach consumers across multiple shopping channels
  10. Understand emerging trends that will help you thrive in 2016 and beyond

We should also remind you that the pet industry’s largest annual trade show is the size of 13 football fields. So, jump that fence. All trails lead to Global Pet Expo in 2016 and you don’t want to miss it!

For more information about Global Pet Expo visit www.globalpetexpo.org.

APPA: Supporting the Industry. Leading the Way.

As the pet industry’s leading association, APPA has worked to grow and support the industry in many ways beyond the direct services APPA provides its members and retailers through Global Pet Expo.

Over the past six years we have supported the pet industry with an unprecedented $10,000,000. These contributions have driven and sustained significant programs designed to strengthen our industry, increase pet ownership, and build awareness of the joys and health benefits of pet ownership.

We provide financial assistance to organizations like the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council and the Pet Care Trust and have consistently taken a leadership role in pioneering new initiatives. Over the last decade, APPA founded the national Pets Add Life campaign, helped form the Human Animal Bond Research Initiative Foundation, and most recently, partnered with industry leaders to establish the Pet Leadership Council, all with the goal of growing and safeguarding our industry.

Our resolve to support and strengthen the pet industry to the best of our ability has never been stronger. We remain committed to leading the way as we work cooperatively with other organizations to plan for the future and ensure the continued health and vitality of the pet products industry. Together we are strong.

Here are some of the organizations APPA supports:

 

Human Animal Bond Research Initiative

In 2010 APPA took the lead in uniting the industry to form a new organization dedicated to gathering, funding and sharing the scientific research that demonstrates the positive health impacts of animals on people. Since its inception, HABRI has served as a rallying point for a growing assembly of companies ranging from manufacturers, distributors and retailers to veterinarians and animal health organizations, all with the common goal of scientifically validating that pets are good for human health. 

In just a few short years, HABRI has quickly become the one-stop resource for scientific research and information on the human-animal bond and has developed the most comprehensive online repository with more than 20,000 entries and growing. The foundation has also awarded a half million in grants for new research showing the health benefits of pets.

Pets Add Life

APPA’s Pets Add Life program was started in 2005 as a public service announcement effort and has since grown into a highly impactful social media campaign garnering hundreds of thousands of followers, millions of impressions, and has become one of the leading voices for promoting pet adoption and responsible pet ownership. Through YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, active and engaged PAL fans and followers are able to help spread our message to millions of their peers.

In an effort to encourage and increase pet ownership, PAL promotes the joys and benefits of pets through a video campaign that includes the wildly successful talking animal videos, which have now reached over 75 million views. Future videos will focus on pet owners’ stories and the amazing impact their pets have made on their lives.

Most recently, PAL has focused its energy on reaching the newest generation of pet owners, Millennials, by expanding into growing platforms popular among this generation like Vine, Instagram and BuzzFeed.

 

Pet Care Trust

APPA has long been a sponsor of the Pet Care Trust whose mission is to promote public understanding of the joys and benefits of pets through education, support, and interaction, primarily through the Pets in the Classroom grant program.

To date, Pets in the Classroom has issued over 56,600 grants to teachers, and nearly 2 million children have experienced the joys and benefits of pet care since the program’s inception.

With a goal of introducing 5 million children in 100,000 classrooms to pets and the benefits they provide, the Pet Care Trust is hoping to help teachers impact future generations of pet owners through its grant program.

Pet Leadership Council

The Pet Leadership Council was formed in 2013 with the mission to: promote and celebrate responsible pet ownership; protect the rights of pet owners; ensure a sustainable supply of pets; foster industry commitment to animal care and breeding standards; and support well founded and meaningful regulatory and legislative initiatives regarding household pets.

As a unifying, proactive voice for the industry, the PLC members represent manufacturers, distributors, retailers, veterinarians and breeders — all of whom passionately and enthusiastically serve the cause of pet ownership and seek to improve the quality of life for pets and owners alike.

By engaging the appropriate resources, the PLC responds to current issues like increasing the incidence of pet ownership and addressing nationwide pet sale bans, while also identifying and addressing future industry needs.

Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council

APPA has long been a supporter of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council to help the organization in its important function of monitoring live animal issues. Understanding the critical nature of legislation affecting pets, APPA also lends support through its Washington D.C. based law firm Dentons US LLP in addition to its government affairs department which monitors product legislation.

WE ARE COMMITTED to continuing to support the organizations and individuals working to protect and grow the industry.