Pet owners want to spend all their free time with their fur babies. A recent study showed that one in three dog owners fill their weekends with events that their dogs can partake in. So it is no surprise that cities are becoming more pet-friendly.
More and more cat cafes, dog pubs and other pet-friendly businesses are popping up to cater to the pets that make our lives whole.
Mars Petcare took it a step further and came up with a certification that cities can earn called “The Better City for Pets” certification. Their goal is to increase pet-friendly cities across the country. The Better City for Pets program works with local government, businesses and non-profits to help communities more welcoming to our fur babies, so everyone can enjoy the benefits of a life with cats and dogs.
The program seeks to educate people on how to be responsible owners, which will prove that pets in public places aren’t a nuisance. It also encourages people to learn the issues in their cities and advocate for animals. Lastly, they ask people to reach out to their local shelters to volunteer and donate.
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They believe that all these things together makes a happy and healthy environment for people and their pets. The company even offers grants to cities to help transform them into pet-friendly areas.
Each city that applies for the certification will be evaluated on 12 key traits, which are divided into four pillars: parks, homes, pet-friendly businesses and local shelters. A statement detailed each of the four pillars with each having three traits to make up the 12.
Each city must possess these traits:
1. Partners collaborate to end pet homelessness
2. Shelters are warm and welcoming to encourage adoption
3. Community cat programs humanely address overpopulation
4. Pet-friendly housing options exist for all families
5. Pet ownership is not restricted by breed or size bans
6. Amenities are available that help pets and pet owners
7. Pet needs are included in green space, park and city planning
8. Pet hydration and waste stations are plentiful and easy to find
9. People know the expectations for pets in public places
10. Retail and restaurants make it easy to be out with your pet
11. Traveling with pets is accessible, safe and affordable
12. Workplaces know and support the benefits of pets at work
“Cities across the country are making strides towards becoming more pet friendly, but there’s more work to be done,” said Mark Johnson, President of Mars Petcare North America. “Through this certification, we hope to inspire more cities to take real action that leads to a better quality of life for people and pets in their communities.”
City officials may apply for the certification online at BetterCitiesforPets.com. Certified cities will be featured on the website and listed as places to visit or live for pet owners. The future looks bright with pet-friendly cities and empty shelters with all pets in loving homes.
Andrea Powell is an animal enthusiast that resides in West Michigan. When not writing, she is exploring the great outdoors with her dogs and horses.
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