June 01, 2006


 Public service campaign on zoonotic diseases debuts

Posted May 15, 2006

The AVMA has launched a public service campaign titled "Zoonotic Diseases: The Shared Threat" to inform pet owners about steps they can take to protect their family and pets from zoonotic diseases. The campaign is part of National Pet Wellness Month, which is held in October, but educational initiatives sponsored by the AVMA and Fort Dodge Animal Health are held year-round.

The spring 2006 campaign was introduced six months after the "Is Your Cat Healthy?" fall campaign, which focused on feline health. The public service announcements for the fall campaign aired on 535 radio or TV stations nearly 90,000 times, potentially reaching 400 million listeners or viewers.

"Zoonotic Diseases: The Shared Threat" depicts playful and affectionate interactions between family members and pets while raising awareness that the two can share diseases. The campaign's TV and radio public service announcements explain how pet owners can reduce the risk of zoonotic diseases through education and twice-a-year pet wellness examinations.

The TV announcements were filmed at Village Veterinary Hospital in Canastota, N.Y. Dr. Kerry Brown and his wife, Nickolette Brown, a licensed veterinary technician, own the hospital. Dr. John Endres, his daughter Kiersten, and Karen Dohrn, a licensed veterinary technician, appear in the announcements.

The National Pet Wellness Month spring campaign has provided free client literature, posters, and other materials to assist veterinarians and staff members in educating clients about ways to protect family members and pets from zoonotic diseases. Nearly 13,000 veterinary clinics participate in the initiative.

The TV and radio announcements, as well as information about zoonotic disease threats and prevention, are available through the National Pet Wellness Month Web site, www.npwm.com.