USA 1, NZ 0

In today’s workplace ‘leadership’ is the prized personal quality and politicians are expected to show leadership when creating and debating policies and conducting themselves (hmmmm – some do better than others in this regard).

It is rather interesting to me that in a week of coverage about the US Government shutdown and stalemate over a budget, and in NZ where all the news is about a Prime Minister who has announced she’s pregnant, will multi-task, and be back at work in 6 weeks following the birth… that the USA’s Government is winning in one respect over New Zealand’s.

Congress and the Senate are pet-friendly.  New  Zealand’s Parliament doesn’t seem to know what that means…


In August 2017, a survey sponsored by by Nestlé Purina PetCare and conducted on behalf of the Human Animal Bond Research Institute was conducted by personal interviews in the House and Senate offices.  The purpose was to call attention the benefits of a pet-friendly workplace.

The 192 House and Senate offices who responded say they welcome pets in the office, either during recess, while Congress is in session, or both.

Capitol Hill

  • The pet-friendly Hill office findings were relatively consistent across party lines, geographic regions, and both chambers, suggesting wide bipartisan support for having pets at work.    (Common Ground!)
  • The Assistant Senate Historian, Dan Holt, said senators used to bring their hunting dogs into the Old Senate Chamber — to sit right by their feet during floor debates.

  • Circa 1800, congressional rules were enacted to prohibit pets on the Chamber floors.  Congressional rules, however, permit pets nearly everywhere else on Capitol Hill, and staffers are almost universally aware that pets are permitted throughout congressional buildings, with few limitations.

The rich tradition of pets on Capitol Hill continues today:

  • Dozens of members of Congress and their staffers are regularly seen accompanied by their four-legged friends in and around Capitol Hill offices.
  • Some dogs are known as being greeters to visitors to their offices.
  • Some congressional pets even have their own business cards, like Oklahoma Rep. Jim Bridenstine’s “Spaniel & Statesman,” Oliver
  • Staffers sometimes announce when pets are in the office, as with a recent dog photo and note taped to Tennessee Rep. Steve Cohen’s office door stating, “Stevie is in the House!”

Dear Jacinda

Source: DC Stands for Dogs and Cats: New Survey Confirms Capitol Hill is a Very Pet-Friendly Workplace

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

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