Sept. 24, 2021

Mark Cushing’s Pet Nation And How Companion Animals Have Transformed Our Lives | The Long Leash #31

Mark Cushing’s Pet Nation And How Companion Animals Have Transformed Our Lives | The Long Leash #31

How much has dog ownership changed in the past couple of decades? A whole lot, and Mark Cushing dives into the inside story of how companion animals have transformed our homes, culture and the economy.


In the last 20 years pets have gone from the backyard to sleeping on our beds, then showing up in every corner of America. But what has this complete shift in our relationship with pets meant for society?

Lawyer, strategist and author Mark Cushing has explored this phenomenon in his book Pet Nation, which tells the story of this seismic shift and the economic, media, legal, political, and social dramas springing from this cultural transformation.

So, what was it that happened in the 1990’s when things started to change? What were the forces at play that saw our dogs and pets became treasured members of the family?

In this conversation, Mark speaks widely about the foundation of the book, as well as his work to help regulate, develop policy and provide strategic advice, at state and federal levels, to animal health and veterinary clients across all sectors.

About Mark Cushing 

Mark Cushing is the Founder & CEO of the Animal Policy Group. A long-time political strategist, government regulatory advisor, corporate executive and former litigator, Mark focuses his advocacy practice on providing high-level strategic advice and services to clients with needs at any level of government, and key trade/industry associations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Since 2004, Mark has specialized in animal health, animal welfare, veterinary and veterinary educational issues and accreditation, developing a cutting-edge practice across these sectors. He currently leads several industry coalitions and initiatives. Mark has guided successful accreditations for a growing list of veterinary colleges and is co-founder of the Veterinary Virtual Care Association. Mark has recently penned Pet Nation, a book that tells the inside story of how companion animals are transforming our homes, culture, and economy.

Pet Nation: https://www.marklcushing.com/

Animal Policy Group: https://animalpolicygroup.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marklcushing

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mark.l.cushing/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marklcushing/

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Mark Cushing

Author/CEO

A long-time political strategist, lobbyist, corporate executive and former litigator, Mark focuses his advocacy practice on providing high-level strategic advice, state and federal lobbying, and consulting services to clients with needs at any level of government, and key trade/industry associations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. He maintains offices in Portland, OR; Scottsdale, AZ and Los Angeles, CA.

Mark is the Founder and CEO of the Animal Policy Group, LLC. Since 2004 he has specialized in animal health, animal welfare, veterinary and veterinary educational issues, developing a cutting-edge practice across these sectors. He also serves as Trustees Counsel for Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, TN and Policy Advisor to the Center for Animal Health in Appalachia and is co-founder of the Veterinary Virtual Care Association.

Mark is a frequent speaker at veterinary medicine and other animal policy-related conferences. He has served as an adjunct professor at the LMU Duncan School of Law, the Lewis & Clark Law School animal Law program in Portland, Oregon, and visiting lecturer at the University of Oregon School of Law. Mark is an honors graduate with distinction from Stanford University and the Willamette University College of Law.

Most recently, Mark is the author of Pet Nation, a book released by Penguin Random House. Pet Nation tells the inside story of how companion animals are transforming our homes, culture, and economy.