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National Pet Week celebrates 15 years

National Pet Week will run from Saturday 3rd to Sunday 11th May 2003. The 2003 theme is 'Pets – your local community friends’

This year marks the 15th anniversary of National Pet Week (NPW) with a full week of events and fundraising, aimed at promoting responsible pet ownership. Philippa Forrester, TV presenter and pet lover, has teamed up with NPW to support the week and help the national search for the organisation with the most pet-friendly initiative.

NPW 2003 will focus on the valuable role pets play in the local community. Pets benefit people across all areas of the community – families, school children, the sick and elderly – and in many ways. Scientific research extols the health and social benefits of interaction with pets and their healing power is well documented. It is proven that pets can help alleviate stress, speed recovery from many illnesses and help people to overcome bereavement.

Many organisations such as offices, hospitals, hotels, schools and residential homes now recognise the value that pets play in the community and have introduced ‘pet-friendly’ initiatives - from pet crèches to allowing pets to visit patients. Organisations will be nominated by their Local Authority for ‘pet-friendly’ initiatives and stand to receive NPW’s prestigious ‘Recognition Award’. The winner and runner up will be announced nationally in time for National Pet Week.

Over the past 14 years, NPW has successfully run education campaigns to promote responsible pet ownership, giving hundreds of people (and their pets!) the opportunity to get involved in fun and exciting events. NPW 2002 was again a popular event for pet lovers across the country, with a record 780 events ranging from church services dedicated to pets, to school open days and pet shows. Check out the NPW website, at Together with general information on NPW, the site features details on how to get involved in NPW 2003, including a list of events taking place in each area. Anyone wanting to hold an event can register via the web and access publicity and merchandise material as well as tips on running events.

Alternatively, contact the NPW Administration Office, 4-6 Peterborough Road, Harrow, Middlesex, HA1 2BQ. Tel/Fax: 020-8422 9300.