Rachel Forest, Natalie Waran, Emma Steiner, Sarah Thompson and just got funding (almost 10K) for next year to continue and expand the Patu Pets – The Furry Whānau Wellbeing project from the NZ Companion Animal Trust.
PATUTM Aotearoa is an initiative dedicated to the holistic health and wellbeing of local communities and runs gyms nationwide that combine group exercise and healthy lifestyle education with Māori language and culture. The “One Welfare” concept, which aligns well with tikanga Māori, recognises that human wellbeing, animal welfare, and the environment are all interconnected and the PATUTM Pets project explores the attitudes of gym members towards companion animals and the health and welfare issues associated with them, implement pet health checks for cat and dogs alongside the regular PATUTM member weigh-ins in order to investigate the link between animal and human health, and to create an owner friendly pet wellbeing assessment tool to increase awareness of pet needs.
NZCAT funding of the Furry Whānau Wellbeing project will be used to: evaluate the effectiveness of embedding pet checks into an existing healthy lifestyle intervention such as PATU at increasing pet owner awareness of animal welfare, trial the pet wellbeing assessment tool, explore national attitudes towards companion animals and pet owners attitudes to their animal’s health and wellbeing along with what factors influence these attitudes.
Rachel Forest, Associate Professor, School of Nursing did a brown bag presentation about the Patu Pets project on the 19th Oct.