U.S. Conference Of Mayors Releases Results Of New Survey At 85th Annual Meeting

Miami Beach, FL—Today, during its 85th Annual Meeting, the US Conference of Mayors (USCM) released the results of a new survey that asked mayors about the current landscape of pet-friendliness in their cities. Eighty-two percent of the mayors surveyed agreed that providing pet-friendly amenities can have an overall positive economic impact on their community.

The survey, launched in conjunction with Mars Petcare BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program, examined the current perceptions, trends, amenities and existing resources for managing animal welfare and quality of life for people with pets.  Among the 73 respondents, representing 30 states, the results affirmed the positive influence of pets, but also identified areas where progress needs to be made. The entire survey can be found here.

“Making our cities more pet-friendly can have so many positive impacts, from improving the health of our citizens, to raising property values. That’s why USCM has partnered with Mars Petcare, one of the world’s leading pet care providers, to determine what resources Mayors need to make our cities more pet-friendly,” said Tom Cochran, USCM’s CEO and Executive Director.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • The power of pets is no secret – 100 percent of mayors surveyed agree pets can have a positive impact on people’s mental and physical health, and 82 percent of mayors agree that providing pet friendly amenities can have an overall positive economic impact on their community.
  • But the need for support still exists, with 66 percent of mayors that do not have, or aren’t aware of, pet-friendly policies for public spaces such as restaurants and stores. Further, nearly a third of mayors reported that their cities do not have adequate access to pet friendly greenways or trails, and 35 percent ranked facility upgrades as the greatest need to help homeless pet shelters in the city.
  • The impact of pets on homes shone through, with 74 percent of mayors agreeing that offering pet friendly amenities will help residential rental communities improve tenant stability, and 81 percent agreeing that the availability of pet friendly amenities can help increase the value of residential property.
  • City size affected pet-friendliness. Generally, the larger the city size, the greater its perceived pet-friendliness. Larger cities also reported more pet amenities, and provided more financial assistance to pet owners than smaller cities. But, larger cities also reported the greatest need for outdoor pet-friendly amenities.
  • Responsible education rose to the top, with 69 percent of mayors agreeing that implementing a responsible pet ownership educational campaign would help make their city more pet-friendly.

“Pets can’t speak for themselves, so it’s up to people and communities to advocate for them,” said Mark Johnson, Mars Petcare North America President. “In partnership with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, we’re bringing together the public and private sectors to work together to advocate for more pet-friendly policies. We surveyed mayors around the country to help to refine our model for a pet-friendly city, ultimately creating communities with fewer pets in shelters, more pet-friendly places and happier, healthier lives for both people and pets.”

More than 250 of the nation’s mayors are currently meeting in Miami Beach for USCM’s Annual Meeting, which runs from June 23 to 26, 2017 at the Fountainebleau Hotel. Under the leadership of USCM President Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett and host Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, mayors are discussing a wide variety of priorities that contribute to the overall health of America’s cities, as well as considering and adopting the policy resolutions that guide the advocacy agenda of the organization. See here for more information. Note: all plenary sessions will be livestreamed.