High profile veterinarian Dr Chris Brown has kick- started a campaign #keepauspetfriendly to reverse the downward trend of pet populations in Australia and raise awareness that our Nation is not very pet friendly.
In a heartfelt open letter to Australia that aims to encourage action Dr Chris Brown said:
“Most of our cities and towns have now become so non-inclusive of pets, that embarking on a simple walk is more akin to a stroll through a mine-field of potential fines, infringements and criticism. Or they’re simply not welcome at all.
“For example, there are entire suburbs that simply ban cat ownership. My worry is that without someone speaking up, we might just regulate them out of our lives.”
The letter available on Dr Chris Brown’s Facebook page – cites pet-friendly rental properties, transport, cafes and outdoor spaces as key aspects for improvement.
Dr Chris Brown warns that if we don’t act now, we might lose our best mates from our lives along with all the benefits this friendship brings.
“For the first time ever, the Australian pet population is in decline. Our cities score very poorly in their level of ‘pet-friendliness’ and we’re falling way behind Europe and North America who seem so much more willing to integrate pets into their communities.”
“So it’s time for action. The research shows pets make us happier and healthier in countless ways. We need more pet-friendly parks and transport. We need to make it easier for people to own pets – especially those people who are currently being prevented because of their housing arrangements or lack of pet-friendly facilities or businesses,” said Dr Chris Brown.
The initiative will be underpinned by a social media campaign across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #keepauspetfriendly.
Academics are also getting behind the campaign to ensure future generations do not miss out on the benefits of pet ownership.
Mia Cobb, expert in human-animal interactions, said, “Research shows that pets can help us exercise more, visit the doctor less, improve our heart health, reduce anxiety, offset loneliness and help us make more friends. Pets also help aid development and increase immunity in children.”
“Unfortunately, the enormous benefits pets bring to our community are too often overlooked,” said Mia Cobb.
Dr Chris Brown’s open letter can be viewed in its entirety here: www.facebook.com/dcbpets.