Published on December 15, 2005
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Physical fitness is a health target the Auxiliary to the AVMA would like to see all members of the family attain—including pets.

The Auxiliary is investing its energy in promoting pet fitness and overall health through National Pet Week 2006, themed "Fitness Unleashed."

National Pet Week was jointly founded in 1981 by the AVMA and the Auxiliary to the AVMA. It has become widely celebrated throughout the United States and other parts of the world. In 2006, pet week will be observed May 7-13. The AVMA continues to support the event.

Goals of National Pet Week are to promote responsible pet ownership, celebrate the human-animal bond, and promote public awareness of veterinary medicine.

The promotional centerpiece for the pet week is the poster chosen by the Auxiliary as the winner of its annual competition. Maureen Wilson, vice president for public relations, reported a "phenomenal response" to the 2006 poster contest.

Courtney Gouldsberry of Moundsville, W.Va., landed the grand prize of $300 and the distinction of having her poster featured on the cover of this issue of JAVMA.

Wilson said, "This year, we decided to focus on making ourselves and our pets more healthy by increasing our exercise and physical activity. Courtney's poster was cute and creative in its simple imagery of a pig, a duck, a cow, and a snake. The lively, juxtaposed pets evoke a sense of motion and movement that illustrates this year's theme."

Coincidentally, the winner of the other pet week competition—the creative writing contest—is also a West Virginian. Twelve-year-old Tiffany Lancaster of Wellsburg, W.Va., wrote the winning essay and won $150. Tiffany is a fifth grader at Wellsburg Middle School. Her essay can be found at

Subaru has once again signed on as sponsor of National Pet Week, and in 2006 for the first time, it also sponsored the pet week poster and creative writing contests.

The Auxiliary will offer a variety of promotional items for purchase, including banners, balloons, bookmarks, brochures, videos, and T-shirts. Turn to page 6 for the order form.

You are invited to share pet week stories, photos, and projects with Maureen Wilson at mwilsonatutah [dot] gov.

"Pets Power" will be the 2007 pet week theme. Posters centered around that theme can be submitted for the 2007 contest through March 1, 2006. Beginning in 2007, the cash prize for the creative writing contest will increase from $150 to $300. Entry forms can be downloaded from the Auxiliary Web site,, by clicking on National Pet Week and selecting the links to the poster and creative writing contests.