CQ Roll Call reports that many staffers reporting to work on Capitol Hill after a sleepless election night received warm — and fuzzy — greetings thanks to a few good dogs.
The dogs, trained therapy animals, were brought in as part of a joint effort between the Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI), Pet Partners, the Pet Leadership Council and the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC). While the tense election may have made the dogs especially welcome in the nation’s capital, the idea had been in the works for some time. According to Mike Bober, president of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, the idea to recruit therapy dogs emerged from a conversation with a colleague over dinner. Bober said they plan to bring therapy dogs back to provide support after other high-stress events on Capitol Hill as well, such as late legislative sessions and the State of the Union.
“Out of everything in the country right now, no one needs it more than Capitol Hill,”
— Mike Bober, President, Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council
Steven Feldman, executive director of the HABRI Foundation, noted that the benefits of pets are well-supported by scientific literature. “We’re here to tell people that there’s actual scientific research that shows that pets are good for human health. They help us with stress, anxiety, depression. They even help us get better sleep, which a lot of people need today,” Feldman said.
For more about the therapy dogs’ visit to Capitol Hill, including photos of the dogs in action, check out the full story on Roll Call.