The Pet Industry Rallies Together for Hurricane Relief

It’s not every day you see top industry competitors working side by side together on one project, but when it benefits the common good and helps thousands of displaced pets and their owners, the companies that make up our industry have answered the call of duty.

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Hurricane Harvey

In an unprecedented collaborative effort, pet stores and veterinary hospital groups, manufacturers, distributors, associations and organizations within the pet industry pooled their resources and worked with lead disaster and shelter officials to coordinate logistics of providing much-needed supplies including sharing warehouses, facilities and distribution centers for storage until affected areas could be accessed.

They also tapped connections and resources to help provide vehicles and helicopters to assist with evacuations and provided financial assistance to rescue organizations.

An overview of the pet industry’s animal assistance in Houston is available here. These supplies have already greatly assisted shelters and aid organizations and will continue to help pet owners with the long-term recovery ahead.

 

Hurricane Irma

In order to streamline relief efforts and ensure maximum assistance from the country’s pet care community to those most in need, The Pet Leadership Council (PLC), made up of pet industry leaders, animal welfare, veterinarians and academia, partnered with GreaterGood.org to provide aid to those impacted by both Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

The PLC is working with GreaterGood.org to help assess critical needs and manage the distribution of desperately needed items from PLC members, including food, crates, litter, hard goods and veterinary medical products.

In the first few days of response alone, they shipped enough pet food for one million meals along with other critical supplies.

The Pet Leadership Council has also developed a public map of locations where open animal hospitals and supplies can be found and will regularly update as conditions change.

More information on how companies and the general public can assist in the hurricane aid efforts is available here.

Now, let’s hope hurricane Maria changes her trajectory. If not, together, we now have a system in place and will be here to help!

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New Research Shows Dogs Improve Social Skills for Children with Autism

Green Chimneys - dog in social skills training

The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) recently announced the publication of a study that explored the effectiveness of an animal-assisted social skills intervention for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

The research was conducted by Green Chimneys, a therapeutic school and treatment center for children facing social, emotional and behavioral challenges.

Dr. Joanna Becker, the study’s principal investigator, along with co-PIs Dr. Erica Rogers and Dr. Bethany Burrows, analyzed 31 Green Chimneys students ages 8-14 diagnosed with ASD and compared social and emotional functioning before and after the intervention. Students either participated in an animal-assisted social skills group or in a traditional social skills training group without an animal present.Not only do dogs appear to have a positive effect on children_s emotional states, but they can also be motivating factors that encourage social interaction and involvement

Findings showed that the inclusion of dogs in social skills training was more effective than traditional programs.

Specifically, participants who received the animal-assisted social skills intervention exhibited fewer social skills deficits overall, fewer restricted and repetitive behaviors, and more typical social communication following the intervention. The study also found that participants who received the animal-assisted social skills intervention exhibited a greater level of change in social skills, perspective taking, theory of mind, and decreased feelings of isolation and depression.

For more information and to read about the innovative research projects HABRI has funded, visit their website. To learn more about Green Chimneys, visit their website here.

APPA Staff Members Are Internationally Recognized!

We are proud to announce three staff members have earned certifications from the International Association of Exhibitions and Events™ (IAEE) and one was named to the IAEE’s 20 Under 30 program.

20under30_sponsor-hi-res-230x300Alexandra Simonfay, Associate Manager, Industry Relations, Sarah Lee Bopp, Manager, Booth Sales & Operations and Kaitlin Simonfay, Associate Manager, Exhibitor Services each earned IAEE’s Certified in Exhibition Management™ (CEM) designation. The CEM is a premier mark of professional achievement, as the individuals who earn this designation are recognized as knowledgeable and dedicated professionals with a long-term commitment to the exhibitions and events industry.
In addition to completing the CEM program, Alexandra Simonfay was also named as one of IAEE’s 20 Under 30 honorees and was recognized at IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition, Expo! Expo! this month.

We are very proud of each of these staff members for their achievements and dedication to the industry!

Don’t Miss the 2nd Annual Pet Industry Leadership Conference

Registration for the 2nd Annual Pet Industry Leadership Conference is now open!

Join us for an excellent line up of speakers, breakout sessions and networking opportunities, all against the backdrop of the California coastline at Laguna Beach.

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Attended by nearly 300 of the pet industry’s leading voices and thought leaders whose achievements are celebrated worldwide, this conference brings all segments of the pet industry together to a beautiful beachfront setting where the emphasis is on problem solving, not selling.

The event’s keynote speakers include Chris Kuehl, Managing Director of Armada Corporate Intelligence, Nathan Richter, Partner at Wakefield Research, Troy Hazard, serial entrepreneur and Josh Linkner, business owner and founder. And the learning continues with breakout sessions that allow for deep dives into critical topics for the pet industry like Effectively Controlling Price Erosion and a Shelter Population Study with reliable data on the number of dogs and cats in shelters.

The cool vibe of the Southern California Coast is the perfect backdrop to a week of collaboration, harmony and inspiration. Check out the schedule of events and download the Registration Form today!

Research to Study Affect of Therapy Dogs on Children in Hospitals

The Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) Foundation recently awarded two grants, totaling $123,000, to study the affects of therapy dogs on children in hospitals.

Young Girl Being Visited In Hospital By Therapy Dog

The University of Tennessee received a $79,000 grant for a new study, The Effect of Animal-Assisted Intervention on Preoperative Anxiety and Dose of Sedation in Children. The study will examine the effect of animal-assisted intervention (AAI) on children’s anxiety levels and sedation medication dosages prior to surgery.

72 children between the ages of 2 and 17 will receive a therapy dog or an iPad tablet 20 minutes before sedation. Heart rate, blood pressure and medicine levels for sedation will then be evaluated for each group and compared.

It is expected that children provided with a therapy dog prior to surgery will have significantly lower preoperative anxiety and will require a decreased amount of medication for sedation compared to children who do not interact with a therapy dog.

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Duke University School of Medicine’s Division of Pediatric Cardiology also received a $44,000 grant for a new research study, Impact of Animal Assisted Therapy on Quality, Completeness, and Patient and Parental Satisfaction in Children Undergoing Clinical Echocardiography. This study will examine the influence of Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) on young children undergoing an echocardiogram.

150 children between the ages of 1 and 5 will be randomly assigned to a group: canine-assisted therapy only; canine-assisted therapy plus standard distraction techniques; and standard distraction techniques only. Quality, completeness and parental satisfaction of echocardiograms will be evaluated among the three groups, as well as reduction of stress or fear among the children.

It is expected that children will have a more complete and higher quality echocardiogram in the presence of therapy dogs. In addition, parents are expected to report higher visit satisfaction scores and greater exam comfort for their children.

For more information and to read about the innovative research projects HABRI has funded, visit their website.

APPA President and CEO Bob Vetere Receives Pet Age’s ICON Award

 icon-logoThe team at American Pet Products Association (APPA) is proud to announce our President and CEO Bob Vetere is a 2016 recipient of Pet Age’s ICON Award. The award honors industry leaders who have shown a long-term commitment to the success of the pet industry based on experience, integrity and leadership.

Bob regularly serves as an industry spokesperson and has been featured in national media outlets including ABC’s World News tonight, CNBC, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal. Since joining us here at APPA in 2002 he has grown membership from 668 to 1,200 members. In his role he has established the Pet Leadership Council (PLC), a council comprised of pet industry leaders that have united to advance the industry. He also established the Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI), an organization that gathers and funds research on the benefits of pet ownership on human health.

bobvetere2015Not only has he formed groups to advance the industry, he was instrumental in combining what used to be known as the APPMA Show and the Pet Industry Distributors Association’s (PIDA) PETS Show and formed what is now the pet industry’s largest annual trade show, Global Pet Expo. Additionally, Bob authored a book entitled From Wags to Riches: How Dogs Teach Us to Succeed in Business & Life and serves on the Board of Directors for Green Chimneys, an organization providing animal-assisted therapy for children with special needs.

So, from everyone at APPA… Congratulations, Bob! You are more than deserving of this fantastic award.

Win $1,000 from Pets Add Life’s Fun New Video Contest

Pets Add Life, APPA’s non-profit social media awareness campaign dedicated to celebrating the joys and benefits of pet ownership, has launched a fun video contest for pet owners called the Pet Step Contest.

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If you have a pet and a phone, you have everything you need to enter the Pet Step Contest and chances of winning are pretty good right now! Just take a quick video telling us why you decided to add a pet to your family. Maybe you and your roommate visited a local shelter one day and gave a senior dog a new home. Perhaps you wanted a loyal companion for your only child; or maybe you and your husband aren’t quite ready for kids but are ready for more responsibility. Whatever the reason, tell us in a short video and upload it for a chance to win. It’s that simple.

The prize is quite attractive as well – a $1,000 gift card to the pet store of choice! How much could that help you out, right?

So, what are you waiting for? Take out your camera phone, record a quick video that is 60 seconds or less and upload it on the Pets Add Life website.

Two winners will be chosen each month through October, so you still have plenty of time to enter to win this month!

#ThePetStep