Britain is a nation of animal lovers – we are passionate about pets, and to reflect this zoologist and documentary filmmaker Maurice Melzak has recently launched a new website where pet lovers can create web pages for their pets.
The main function of PetStreet.co.uk will be to provide free web pages to users where they can display pictures, videos and information about their pets (and when we say pets we mean all the different sorts of animals and birds that share our lives - from alpacas to zebra finches).
Then users or pets can then send messages to other people or other pets who are part of the PetStreet community. This is how the different networks will be formed.
Dog lovers may want to find people in their area who keep the same breed of dog or exchange information on feeding or health care. Some might seek out people to join them for a walk or help with dog sitting.
And this rationale can apply to keepers of all sorts of pets. Once people are aware of PetStreet resource they can begin to network and form communities to share information and ideas.
Already a number of big organisations like The Feline Advisory Bureau, The Kennel Club, The Blue Cross, the ILPH (horses) and Battersea Dogs and Cats Home have all said they want to participate by creating their own pages on the site. They can clearly see a benefit in being part of the community of pet lovers that PetStreet intends to create.
The PetStreet team will provide regular updates and commentary on different aspects of the world of our companion animals through a PetStreet blog. PetStreet will also be able to feature original video content filmed by the PetStreet production team. Short videos may feature experts in pet health or behaviour, or simply reveal a great pet owner and their pet. Hopefully people using the site will make suggestions for subjects they’d like discussed or filmed.
Maurice Melzak has more than 20 years experience in making television programmes about our relationships with animals and has always been aware of the important role of pets in people’s lives. He has teamed up with digital content specialist Zone to design and develop the website, which has now launched.
One thing that all pets have in common is that they are good for you. Scientific research has shown that contact with animals can bring physiological and psychological benefits: reducing stress, lowering blood pressure and aiding recovery after illness. (Pet Health Council). There are many studies that show how children benefit from animal companionship and a recent survey in Canada revealed that nearly fifty percent of women relied more on their pets for affection than their spouse or children.
More than forty percent of women said their pets understand their emotions and moods better than other family members! (Ontario Veterinary Medical Association)
Maurice Melzak said: ‘We want Petstreet to allow communities of people to grow united by their desire to share the joys and benefits they get from their companion animals, whether dogs or cats, reptiles or rodents, or fish, ferrets or fantails’.
James Freedman, Chief Executive of Zone, added: ‘Everyone at Zone is excited by the opportunity to create a social networking site around pets and pet lovers. By combining Maurice’s experience and expertise in this sector and Zone’s editorial, design and technical skills, we hope we can create the definitive website in this sector.’