PET CORNER: Pets are an important part of American lives

How important are pets to us? Well, if you do some research about the importance of pets in the United States, you will discover that most pet owners think that their pets play a very significant role in their lives.

Pets are an important source of love and friendship to their owners. It is also a well-known fact that pets are good for their owner’s health. These are just a few of the many benefits of having a pet that is backed by research and scientific studies.

New data from the 2017-2018 American Pet Products Association (APPA) National Pet Owners Survey revealed insight into how pet owners feel about their pets.

• 85 percent of owners believe pets are a good source of affection.

• 82 percent  agree that interacting with a pet can help them relax.

• 81 percent are aware that owning a pet can be beneficial to their own health.

• 81 percent feel unconditional love for their pets.

People who have pets make up a significant part of our Manistee community. According to the Humane Society of the United States, there are two main sources of pet demographics in the United States: the APPA National Pet Owners Survey published every two years and the U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) which is published every five

Maxwell is a 3-year-old Boxer lab mix that has been at the shelter since October 2014. He is looking for his forever home. (Courtesy photo)

Maxwell is a 3-year-old Boxer lab mix that has been at the shelter since October 2014. He is looking for his forever home. (Courtesy photo)

years. Together these surveys provide data about trends in pet ownership and produce a reasonably accurate estimate of the total number of dogs and cats.

U.S. pet ownership estimates from the AVMA Sourcebook in 2012 show 66.5 million households (or 56 percent) with a pet while the APPA survey for 2015-16 shows 79.7 million (or 65 percent) of households with a pet.

 

Using the AVMA formula for estimating the percentage of pet-owning households and the 2016 US Census, Manistee County has 10,142 households; 5,981 of those household has at least one pet. The City of Manistee has 2,807 households of which 1,486 have a pet. Even using this lower 56 percentestimate of the AVMA, you can see that a significant number of households in our community have one or more pets.

Why is it important to know these numbers? If you are the City of Manistee or Manistee County, it is important because these are your constituents. It will help you make important decisions that will affect your pet owner voters.

It also demonstrates the importance of supporting animal welfare organizations in your community, like Homeward Bound, as they provide an invaluable public service to these community members and the community as a whole.

If you are a Manistee area business, it is important to know your customers so you can meet their needs and increase your business. So knowing these numbers can be very important.

All that being said, pets are obviously an important part of a lot of people’s lives and the Manistee area is no exception. When over half of the households in our community have pets and enjoy all the proven benefits of pet ownership, the community as a whole is a better place. Pet ownership deserves the support of local government and our community because of all the positive benefits that owning a pet provides to those who live here.

On another note, Homeward Bound is looking for a special adopter for a special dog. Maxwell is a 3-year-old Boxer lab mix that has been at the shelter since October 2014. Maxwell’s ideal adopter would be someone, most likely a male, who has had experience with strong minded, strong bodied dogs. Maxwell has worked with a trainer a couple of times and shows he can listen and learn. His adopter will need to continue training with him. He needs to be an only pet and a fenced in yard is a must. Maxwell has a lot of energy and would need daily walks so if you are looking for a walking or jogging companion, Maxwell could be your dog. Maxwell is a special big boy who needs an exceptional person dedicated to helping him become the best dog he can be. If you think you could be Maxwell’s person contact or visit the shelter to meet him.

Come join us for “Strut Your Mutt” on the Riverwalk from 1-3 p.m. on Sept. 17. We will be starting at the Lion’s Pavilion at First Street Beach again this year. It is the only time that dogs are allowed on the Riverwalk. Go to our website www.homewardboundmanistee.org for more information.

Deb Green is the vice president of the Manistee County Humane Society. She can be reached at dgreen1004@gmail.com.

MORE INFORMATION

Homeward Bound Animal Shelter is located off M-55 at 736 Paws Trail in Manistee. Hours are noon to 6 p.m. on Wednesdays and noon to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

For more information, contact Homeward Bound at (231) 723-7387 or visit www.homewardboundmanistee.org or Facebook. Manistee County Humane Society/Homeward Bound is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

 

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