by Rupert Brown
The UK is a nation of animal lovers, with almost half of the population sharing their lives and homes with a cornucopia of mammals, birds and reptiles.
We buy pet insurance, pay exorbitant vet bills and purchase the best quality food. We groom them, exercise them in the rain, sing to them and pick up their mess. You wouldn’t do some of these things for another human being, but are rewarded with devotion, trust and hours of fun.
‘Pet power’ has real benefits to humans. Pet groups claim that contact with animals can reduce stress, help prevent allergies and illness, lower blood pressure and boost the chances of survival after a life threatening illness.