Mars Petcare Names 25 Cities As Better Cities For Pets In North Americ

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis
Thanks to Mars Petcare, cities throughout North America can now gain certification as official BETTER CITY FOR PETS™ cities. The inaugural list was just released and pets in 25 cities in the U.S. and Canada living in the lucky cities approve of the work their humans are doing to make their environments friendly for those two- and four-legged citizens who call each place home.

Urban planning experts from the Nashville Civic Design Center partnered with Mars Petcare to create a first-of-its-kind certification. The certification celebrates and honors cities that allow people and pets to thrive together. This certification is part of the Mars Petcare BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program, which works with local governments, businesses and non-profits who work to make communities more pet-friendly.

Mark Johnson is the President of Mars Petcare North America. He says that the 25 cities recognized for the first certifications are ones that prioritize people and pets in their communities. They do so by being more pet-friendly and allowing happier and healthier lives for pets and humans with strong social interaction opportunities. They hope to continue honoring more cities who join the effort to make the world more pet-friendly.

Related: Study: Owning Pets Makes Better Neighbors

Certified cities like St. Petersburg, Fla., created programs that were modeled after BETTER CITIES FOR PETS plans. They created St. Pete PAWS, a program that provides the community with educational resources and materials that are pet-friendly to encourage more pet-friendly parks, business and homes. Through the St. Pet PAWS, the city launched the Mayor’s Pet-Friendly business certification that also encourages pet-friendliness from St. Pete citizens.

Mars Petcare North America is headquartered in Franklin, Tennessee and Franklin piloted the first-ever BETTER CITIES FOR PETS “Pets Welcome” program. Franklin partnered with the Downtown Franklin Association to encourage businesses to be more pet-friendly by welcoming pets in their stores and on their local patios. As a result, almost 100 businesses now let people and pets in the downtown area come and go with each other. The city also hosts pet-friendly community events and adoption opportunities while it shares resources about responsible pet ownership.

A recent survey of pet owners in the United States found that 82% of pet owners said that having a pet impacts their lives in a positive way.

Almost 65% of those surveyed feel more relaxed and happy when they are with pets and nearly 70% are more likely to spend money at a pet-friendly business.

Pet-friendly workplaces are so important that nearly half the surveyed pet parents said they’d accept pay decreases if their pets were allowed in the workplace.

Related: On the Road Again: Hitting the Road with Your Dog

So the certified cities have paid attention to pet parents and Mars Petcare hopes the new certification encourages other cities to follow suit.

Congratulations to the first 25 cities designated as BETTER CITY FOR PETS™:

• Bloomington, Ind.

• Nashville, Tenn.

• Calumet City, Ill.

• Oakland, Calif.

• Cleveland, Ohio

• Plano, Texas

• Dallas, Texas

• Port St. Lucie, Fla.

• Fort Wayne, Ind.

• Reno, Nev.

• Franklin, Tenn.

• Rochester, Mich.

• Hallandale Beach, Fla.

• Royalton, Minn.

• Henderson, Nev.

• Santa Clarita, Calif.

• Laguna Niguel, Calif.

• Southport, N.C.

• Meaford, Ont., Canada

• St. Petersburg, Fla.

• Memphis, Tenn.

• Topeka, Kan.

• Miami Lakes, Fla.

• Tucson, Ariz.

• Miami, Fla.

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

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