January 01, 2002


 People, pets, and veterinarians... a winning team

Posted Dec. 15, 2001

Winning teams comprise many elements—talent, strength, hard work, and usually something more elusive...teamwork and a team spirit.

Courtesy: Oroville Mercury RegisterDr. V. Glade Leavitt and his Veterinarian Technician Leslie Francis pose to kick off National Pet Week, which runs May 5-May 12. Courtesy: Oroville Mercury Register

National Pet Week is no exception.

"During National Pet Week, May 5-11, veterinary medicine has an excellent opportunity to educate and inform," Dr. James H. Brandt, AVMA president, said. "National Pet Week is the time to focus our attention on all our furred, feathered, and finned companions."

Cheryl Knape, president of the Auxiliary to the AVMA, the found- ing organization and co-sponsor of National Pet Week, agrees.

"The Auxiliary, along with the other Pet Week co-sponsors—the AVMA, the American Animal Hospital Association, and the North American Veterinary Technician Association—have wonderful materials available for National Pet Week promotion," Knape added. "Whether it is a clinic open house, a community program, or a school presentation, there are videos, brochures, and children's activities to make your participation as easy as possible."

Pet week materials
This year's six-page National Pet Week newspaper features heartwarming stories about the importance of pets in people's lives, focusing on the human-animal bond. It is designed as a self-mailer for easy distribution to clients. Dr. Kristen Weiss of Oak Harbor, Wash., designed this year's National Pet Week poster. This is the second pet week poster she has created.

The Auxiliary has buttons, balloons, library kits, stickers, T-shirts, Frisbees and Slinkies available as handouts or prizes.

Veterinarians use these materials during National Pet Week to teach children lifelong lessons about the care of family and school pets, according to Texas VMA Auxiliary President Lana Tarlton.

"My husband, John Tarlton, has a mixed animal practice and makes sure that students learn about animals of all sorts," she said. "Our hope is that the children will want to raise their own animals in the future and possibly even participate in the area livestock shows."

Media spotlight on pet week continues
Pet week activities are always a media favorite. In 2001, National Pet Week received nearly 19 million print impressions in newspapers across the country. Audio news releases and public service announcements were aired by 113 stations an average of 99 broadcasts per station. The estimated 11,200 airings resulted in more than 16.5 million audience impressions. If this airtime were purchased as advertising, it would have cost $194,459.

"Over the years, the Rock Valley VMA has sent press releases to the area newspapers and provided local veterinarians for radio interviews," said Dr. Dean Peterson, Janesville, Wis. "It has gotten to the point where the press actually starts to call us prior to National Pet Week, looking for stories and lining up radio interviews with our local veterinarians."

This year, prerecorded radio public service announcements featuring a 60-second, a 30- second, and two 10-second spots, along with specially recorded audio interviews with veterinarians, will be sent to more than a thousand radio stations.

National Pet Week press releases on various topics from West Nile virus to traveling with your pet can be downloaded from the AVMA Web site, www.avma.org, and personalized for use in pet week promotions.

2001 Partners Guide
The 2001 Partners Guide is inserted in this issue of JAVMA. It has clip art and order forms from the AVMA and Auxiliary as well as contact information for all sponsoring groups.