AVMA recommits to National Pet Week for 2004

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The AVMA will be participating in National Pet Week next year. After withdrawing from observing the 2003 public education campaign because of questions of cost and effectiveness, the AVMA Executive approved a recommendation from the Council on Public Relations to help sponsor National Pet Week at a cost of $160,000, to be offset by $145,000 in anticipated revenue.

Observed in May, National Pet Week is an opportunity to instruct the public about the importance of responsible pet ownership and veterinarians in supporting the human-animal bond.

When the board withdrew the AVMA from participating in National Pet Week 2003, it instructed the public relations council to examine the feasibility of participating in the 2004 observance. The council submitted its plan to the board in March, but the board sent the recommendation back to the council for clarification on certain elements of the plan. The board asked for details about sponsor selection and solicitation, a strategy that would strengthen the AVMA's unified online presence rather than create a separate pet week Web site, and the Auxiliary's role in the relaunched program.

The board consensus at the May meeting was that the council responded to its request for clarification to the board's satisfaction. Although several board members still questioned the value of National Pet Week, AVMA president-elect, Dr. Jack O. Walther, noted, "The risk to us is minimal, while the gain is supremely good."