Very disappointing. Very disappointing behavior by the sponsor HABRI (Human Animal Bond Research Initiative Foundation).
Pet Night on Capitol Hill is promoted as “Hosted by the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) and the Pet Leadership Council (PLC), Pet Night brings the power of pets to Capitol Hill, delivering the message to our elected representatives that pets are important for human health and quality of life. Pet Night convenes elected representatives, industry leaders, the veterinary community, animal welfare advocates and research organizations to learn about the importance of pet ownership in America and the growing scientific evidence that pet ownership leads to improved wellbeing for both people and animals.“
But the ‘human animal bond’ didn’t want pet food to be discussed at their event…very strongly did not want pet food to be discussed.
In a crowded banquet room in the Rayburn House Office Building the Executive Director of HABRI – Mr. Steven Feldman – approached me and introduced himself. He appeared to know who I was. While I was politely and patiently waiting to have 30 seconds with Congressman Tim Ryan (Ohio) who made an appearance at the event, Mr. Feldman had other plans for me. Mr. Feldman told me this was not the place to discuss pet food. I challenged his theory sharing that the human animal bond is often destroyed by illegal pet feed that consumers unknowingly purchase. Mr. Feldman disagreed and told me a conversation like that should take place out in the hall. I continued to politely wait my turn to speak with the Congressman.
Mr. Feldman left but went to two staffers of HABRI clearly discussing me. I heard one say “Which one is she?”
As Congressman Ryan moved through the crowd talking to several attendees of the event, one of the HABRI staffers (otherwise known as Mr. Interference) stepped directly in front of me blocking me access to the Congressman. I stepped to the left. Mr. Interference stepped to the left. I stepped to the right. Mr. Interference stepped to the right. We continued this dance – back and forth – for several minutes; he continued to physically block my access to Congressman Ryan. That is until Jacqueline Hill of Answers Pet Food played the role of blocker. Jacqueline Hill saw what Mr. Interference was doing to me and she did some interference of her own. Mr. Interference blocked me to the right, Jacqueline Hill moved in from the left and quickly told the Congressman I’d like to speak with him. Mr. Interference wasn’t expecting that!
Congressman Ryan listened to my ‘elevator speech’ of FDA allowing pet food to violate law and ignoring Congressional deadlines of pet food safety updates. He asked me to send more information to his office.
How very disappointing that an organization that claims to promote the human animal bond worked so hard to censor the truth about products that have such a huge impact on the human animal bond (pet food/pet feed). There is little more important than proper ‘food’ to enhance and extend the human animal bond.
It remains a mystery why so many organizations such as HABRI work against us instead of with us. If they truly cared about the human animal bond, truly cared about pets – we would be working together to correct the many wrongs of pet feed. Are they that naive or are they that determined to protect their sponsors at any cost (Purina was a sponsor of this event too)?
My thanks to fellow attendee Jacqueline Hill for being brave enough to block Mr. Interference. My thanks to Congressman Ryan for listening – as promised your assistant will be receiving multitudes of evidence to verify the illegal pet feed information I shared with you. Consumers are counting on you to help us!
While some work so hard to keep others from learning of the current conditions of pet food, others welcome the truth. This week I had two wonderful opportunities to speak with pet owners and pet professionals. My thanks to Purrsonal Space Cat Lounge in South Jersey and to Pet Connections Expo for inviting me to speak with pet owners and independent pet food stores about pet food.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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