WASHINGTON (WDVM) — Pet Week on Capitol Hill kicked off on Monday, Oct. 18. The week is being hosted by the Human-Animal Bond Research Institute and is being held virtually this year. There will be virtual chats with researchers, lawmakers and organizations discussing the importance of pets on wellbeing and the best practices for taking care of four-legged companions.

The purpose of the various presentations and discussions are to encourage lawmakers to see pets as integral to public health.

Steven Feldman, president of HABRI, said, “If pets are good for individuals and good for families and good for entire communities, then it stands to reason that we should be encouraging pet ownership. Just like we encourage diet and exercise for healthy people, healthy communities, we should be encouraging pet ownership.”

Throughout the week, topics that will be explored include veterinary issues in Congress and the importance of allowing pets in housing, workplace and schools. To join in on Pet Week festivities, click here.