National Pet Week activities feature poster and creative writing contests for children

“Celebrate Healthy Pets” is the theme for 2014’s National Pet Week to be celebrated May 4th through the 10th. Created by the American Veterinary Association (AVMA) and its Auxiliary, National Pet Week is dedicated to celebrating the pets in our lives, promoting responsible pet ownership, and bringing awareness to the contributions of veterinary professionals in our communities and around the world.

“Our pets rely on their owners for everything,” said Dr. Rebekah Frost of the Dunkirk Animal Clinic. “In addition to the basics such as food, water, and TLC, our pets need annual checkups, proper nutrition, dental care, exercise, and even an emergency plan when injury or disaster strike,” Dr. Frost added. Noted in the most recent AVMA U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographic Sourcebook, 54 percent of cat owners and 49 percent of dog owners indicated they did not take their pet to the veterinarian because they were not sick or injured.

“Waiting for your pet to show signs of illness can waste valuable time,” said AVMA president, Dr. Clark Fobian. “Because pets often hide symptoms of illness, regular check-ups are vital to catching potential health problems early. Not only can early treatment mean better results for your pet, it can also be easier on your wallet.”

To celebrate National Pet Week in our community, the doctors and staff at the Dunkirk Animal Clinic are distributing information and entry forms to local schools to encourage student participation in the AVMA Auxiliary’s Annual Poster and Creative Writing Contest. Children in grades K-12 are invited to enter an original poster in the National Pet Week Poster Contest, or a short story, essay, or poem in the Creative Writing Contest. Entries should center around next year’s theme: Adopt A Pet-A Promise of Love, and need to be post-marked or e-mailed by May 9. Winners will receive a $100 cash prize and the honor of their entry being published for use in the 2015 National Pet Week projects and associated promotions.

The clinic will also be distributing information where teachers can find AVMA resources and lesson plans, which meet national teaching standards in science and the language arts. Teachers may choose to use these materials in conjunction with National Pet Week since they feature responsible pet ownership, child/pet safety, and awareness of the veterinary profession.

“We strongly feel that responsible pet ownership and sensitivity toward animals begins early on and we are happy to have the opportunity to help foster these values in our local children,” said Dr. Frost.

For more information regarding National Pet Week and/or submission guidelines for the contests, visit the Dunkirk Animal Clinic website at www.dunkirkanimalclinic.com, or call the clinic at 366-7440.