Cats or dogs? The eternal question
On National Rural Health Day, rural communities join forces to highlight community strengths and celebrate the power of rural. But this year on Nov. 19, we get to do more than that. We also get to answer an age-old quandary: Who makes the better pet – cats or dogs?
This is your chance to choose who should serve as the official NRHA 2020 National Rural Health Day mascot: Sam the cat, who lives with NRHA member Jan Probst of the Rural and Minority Health Research Center, or Coby the dog, who lives with NRHA member Mark Holmes of the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research.
Learn more about the candidates before casting your vote:
- Sam is a rescue cat who recruited Jan Probst and her husband Bob to be his cat guardians in 2016. An avid newspaper reader (online, of course), Sam has become deeply concerned about rural health issues. (Seriously, Sam reads the paper every morning. Bob thinks Sam has figured out that he can make the text move if he hits the keyboard.) Sam decided that supervising Jan from his cat tree next to her desk was not enough – it was time to suit up. He has been promoting National Rural Health Day and tweeting about rural health concerns for about three years, highlighting the #PowerOfRuralCats.
- Coby was born just four miles from a national forest but in a metropolitan county, so even at birth he recognized that “rural” is a complex identity. He enjoys taking trips to rural areas, hiking in Blue Ridge Mountains, and frolicking along the Atlantic Ocean. As a resident of an urban area, Coby definitely does not live in a V-HPSA (V for veterinary); even with his nose to the ground, his closest provider is only a 20-minute walk. Coby recognizes many rural pups don’t have this luxury. He hopes to raise awareness that rural America is vibrant and strong, but many urban-based policies simply don’t work in rural communities.
To cast your vote for the 2020 NRHD mascot, donate any amount to NRHA’s National Rural Leadership Foundation online and write "NRHD CAT” or “NRHD DOG” in the “DEDICATED TO” field.
In addition to voting for this year's mascot, individuals who donate now will be able to nominate their pets and those of others next year.
Either way, rural health is the winner, as proceeds benefit a permanent endowment that prepares emerging rural leaders to ensure access to quality health care in rural America.