National Pet Month has come a long way in the last 25 years. Here are some of our highlights. If you have memories of National Pet Month, or National Pet Week as it was originally, please email your stories and pics to firstname.lastname@example.org We'd love to share them.
1989 - National Pet Week launches, organised in house at the British Veterinary Association (BVA) by its Small Animals Committee and chaired by Des Thompson. Inspired by National Pet Week in the USA, the main objective of National Pet Week is to organise an event which involves animal charities and welfare organisations and promotes responsible pet ownership and the benefits of pets. National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) and Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA) are among founding trustees.
1992 - Bradley Viner takes over as chairman of National Pet Week and introduces the idea of a theme for each year. The first one is Animals and Us which focuses on the benefits of owning a pet.
1993 - National Pet Week gains charitable status.
1995 - National Pet Week, with its theme ‘Their Lives in Our Hands’ coincides with VE Day 50 year celebrations and has a parallel theme of Our Lives In Their Hands, which recognises the vital role of pets in war.
1998 - The start of National Pet Week this year coincided with the first of five Pets, Pets, Pets shows taking place at the beautiful grand estate of Tatton Park in Cheshire, featuring neo-classical mansion, gardens, farm and medieval hall.
2004 - National Pet Week features on prime-time TV when it gets involved in BBC 1 Saturday night programme Test Your Pet, viewed by five million people. The Veterinary Hospital Group in Plymouth, run by long-standing supporter John Bower held the best event.
2005 - National Pet Week is restructured and is run in-house by trustees PFMA, NOAH and Pet Care Trust. TV presenter Philippa Forrester attends the launch event with Harvey the Lifestyle Dog, and Phil Sketchley becomes chairman (pictured right).
2006 - National Pet Month launches at Crufts with Allen Parton and world famous assistance dog Endall.
2007 - National Pet Week becomes National Pet Month to celebrate its 18th year. An 18th birthday party is held at the Kennel Club involving a range of TV celebrities in Hyde Park.
2008 - National Pet Month runs a Hall of Fame photographic competition in conjunction with Your Cat and Your Dog magazine, with winning entries displayed in Selfridges. Charity collectors from cat rescue charity The Scratching Post dress as Britannia and Queen Elizabeth II to hand out flyers on new pet ownership and adopting older cats.
2009 - Fresh from success with the 2008 competition a Talented Pets Hall of Fame is introduced in conjunction with Your Cat and Your Dog magazines and is judged at the Ultimate Pet Show by visitors.
2011 - As Royal Wedding fever takes hold for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, once again National Pet Month and Your Cat and Your Dog magazines team up to run a celebratory photo competition. Pet owners are invited to capture a special moment with their pet to mark the big day. Winning photos are displayed at an Animal Art Fair.
2012 - Celebrity pet fans including Rosemary Conley, Dawn Porter, Marc Abraham, Carol McGiffen, Laura Hamilton, Lu Corfield and Michele Knight share their stories of life with their pets to support National Pet Month.
2013 - Social Media grips National Pet Month as it rescues two major Facebook pages from closure. Scratching Post and Park Bench, with more than 100,000 cat and dog fans join the NPM family.
2014 - National Pet Month gets ready to party as it celebrates its 25th anniversary with the theme of Celebrating Our Pets and a challenge to vet practices to get out and visit their local schools. Celebrity supporters include celebrity vet Marc Abraham, West End star and TV presenter Jodie Prenger, TV presenter Laura Hamilton and actress Lu Corfield (pictured right).