By Laura Liebeck<br><br>
Pets are People, Too, Garfield the cat (licensed by PAWS) declares in his newest role, as spokescat for pet insurance.
Speaking for Petshealth Care Plans (No. Canton, Ohio), Garfield appeals to pet owners who love their pets as much as they love their children.
"This is a program whose time had come," declares Cliff Hackney, VP licensee acquisition, PAWS (Muncie, Ind.). "It made a lot of sense for our characters; it's an obvious link."
The insurance will help families afford the rising costs of veterinary bills for both ill and well pets.
"We're trying to build name recognition," says Russell Smith, president, Petsmarketing Insurance, issuer of the Petshealth Care Plan. "We're trying to be the Coke and Kleenex of pet insurance."
Garfield started appearing on PCP promotional literature in May 2001, says Smith, noting that the fat cat helps provide the insurer with a national presence.
The deal between PAWS and PCP is for five years with a five-year renewal.
Hackney says PAWS is looking into expanding the pet insurance program with a partner in Canada.