Victoria Prentis, Member of Parliament for North Oxfordshire, is supporting ‘Thank You Pets’, Mars Petcare’s new campaign focused on showing appreciation for the hard work of pets and service animals across the country.
Research undertaken by the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition has shown that pets make us happier and our societies stronger. Over 85% of people reported that their home was a happier place after getting a pet, and 80% noticed reduced feelings of loneliness.
Pets do not just help in the home; there are a wealth of different types of working animals, from cart-horses to police-dogs. During a recent visit to Bure Park Primary School in Bicester, Victoria had the opportunity to meet Barney the service dog, who often visits the school with his handler to support and comfort children who may be upset or distressed.
Speaking about the campaign, Victoria said: “Growing up on a farm, I spent my early life surrounded by animals. Not much has changed in adulthood; I keep a variety of animals, including sheep, horses and my very vocal cat, Midnight. My family and I are often up in the early hours to feed them and I have always enjoyed the sense of routine and purpose this brings.
I firmly believe that pets play a significant role in supporting people’s mental and physical health, particularly with tackling feelings of loneliness. We owe a great deal to the animals in our lives, whether this be a loyal family companion or a hardworking service dog.”
If you would like to join in with the campaign, you can share photos of your pet on social media using the hashtags #ThankYouPets and #PetsTackleLoneliness.
For more information, please visit: www.mars.co.uk/thank-you-pets.