The Auxiliary to the AVMA is celebrating "Pets—The Spice of Life" during National Pet Week 2009, May 3-9.
The inspiration for this year's theme was New Orleans, site of the 2008 AVMA Annual Convention.
"We all believe that pets are very special, and they do spice up our lives," said Ginger Morton, the Auxiliary's vice president for public relations.
National Pet Week focuses on responsible pet ownership, recognition of the human-animal bond, and public awareness of veterinary medicine. The AVMA and Auxiliary jointly founded the event in 1981, and the celebration has spread throughout the United States and beyond. The AVMA continues to support the event.
To promote National Pet Week 2009, the Auxiliary held its annual poster and creative writing contests. The Auxiliary received entries from across the country, Morton said, but the winning entries stood out from all the others.
Charles Wessley Vandenbark of Hamilton, Ohio, won the grand prize of $300 in the poster contest. His poster appears on the cover of this issue. To Morton, the poster illustrates that pets are part of the family.
Danielle Cyr of Lincoln, Mont., won the $300 grand prize in the writing contest. Her essay, which she submitted in 2008 as a fifth-grader, is available on the Auxiliary's Web site at www.avmaaux.org/npwcontest.html.
Along with the contests, the Auxiliary will promote National Pet Week with items ranging from bookmarks to banners. An order form appears on page 176.
"Pets and People—Healthy Together" is the theme for National Pet Week 2010. March 15 is the deadline for the 2010 poster and creative writing contests. Entry forms are available at www.avmaaux.org under "National Pet Week."