Pets are part of our families. They live at the intersection of heart and home, but U.S. cities sometimes aren’t as welcoming for our four-legged friends. That’s why Mars Petcare is working to make more communities warm and welcoming through their BETTER CITIES FOR PETS program, so that more people and pets can live a better life together.
Pets reside in more than 84 million U.S. households, helping to make us feel safer in our communities. Dogs and cats can reduce stress, lower blood pressure and reduce the feeling of isolation and loneliness. BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ stems from the increasing need for cities to adapt to Americans’ expectations that their pets not only can live with them, but also work and play. With more progressive pet-friendly policies in place, we are helping to change hearts and minds.
We’re working with multiple government, NGOs and city organizations around the world to make cities pet-friendly. Since our program’s launch in 2017, we have set out to educate people about the important issues facing pets. From teaching responsible pet ownership and working to reduce pet homelessness, to lobbying for contemporary public spaces and working to eliminate breed bans, we recognize there are many paths to welcome our pets in more places. We’ve engaged hundreds of cities and invested more than $1 million in grants and food donations. Additionally, we’ve provided resources and city-specific guidance to help create more pet-friendly communities.
But we want to do more, because the world we want tomorrow starts with what we do today. In the last year we’ve focused heavily on working with local officials to showcase their city’s commitment to creating pet-friendly communities. In January, 2019 we launched the “BETTER CITY FOR PETS” certification to help recognize the great work being done by cities around the world. Created in partnership with urban-planning organization Nashville Civic Design Center, the certification evaluates cities based on 12 traits of pet-friendly cities across four categories:
- Shelters: Pet-friendly cities have fewer pets in shelters and more pets in loving homes.
- Homes: Pet-friendly cities have open housing policies and enable pet ownership.
- Parks: Pet-friendly cities have green space and amenities for healthy outdoor time with pets.
- Businesses: Pet-friendly cities have programs and policies that make pets welcome.
Our certification serves to commend cities that both recognize and elevate the benefits of life with pets by making significant strides toward pet-friendly standards.
We’re proud to announce the first 25 municipalities to have taken our assessment, put our purpose in practice for pets and received the BETTER CITY FOR PETS certification. Located across North America, these cities deserve recognition for the programs and policies created to make life better for pets — and their people.
Check out BetterCitiesforPets to learn more about each of these pet-friendly cities that make it easier for pets and pet owners to live a happy, healthy life together.
Check out our Better Cities For Pets 2019 Annual Report.