September 13th is Pet Birth Defect Awareness which was established in 2014 by David Rogers as part of MBJungle Foundation’s effort to bring awareness to the interactive role humans play in our pets’ physical birth defects. as well as their mental health. Although both abnormalities can be present at birth, the mental health of our pets can be affected by improper care or abuse. Therefore, we have established two separate ribbons for our cause, orange representing mental health and green for physical defects. For our cause, these two ribbons will always be presented intertwined due to the biological as well as the human involvement in both abnormalities. These two colors signify the power and influence we have over reducing the interactive role humans have on our pets’ physical and mental health. 

As educators and advocates for animals, we realized the topic of pet birth defects and mental illness needs more attention proactively and urgently. There are so many resources being used in a reactive manner as is needed, but we felt the best way we could help lessen that burden to society is through education. Our mission is to educate the public concerning the inception of these two intertwined illnesses and how we can use our voices and energies to greatly reduce the human interactive role.

Although we do strive to bring awareness to the needs of special needs pets, our main focus is on prevention. We are committed to understanding the factors that lead to pet birth defects and mental illness and are working to identify strategies to reduce and also to prevent secondary disabilities. We would like to encourage professionals to develop a pet birth defect registry with standards that would establish core requirements for effective surveillance efforts and promote uniformity across state and regional registries. We would also like to target and support the pets and families affected by pet birth defects and mental illness. 

Pet Birth Defect Awareness Day increases awareness that birth defects are common, costly, and critical, and our hope is that steps will be taken by professionals, community groups, and the public to prevent pet birth defects and mental illness. We do not know how many pets are affected or the mortality rate. Pets that survive are at an increased risk for developing many lifelong physical, cognitive, and social challenges. Veterinary care services may only scrape the surface when it comes to providing information on the financial and emotional impact of living with a birth defect. Our efforts offer hope, our efforts offer support, and our efforts offer action in reducing the number of pet birth defects and mental illness in the future.