In June 2018, the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) and Mars Petcare announced the recipients of the first BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ grants at the USCM annual meeting. The grant program is a result of Mars Petcare and USCM’s ongoing partnership to raise awareness of the need for more pet-friendly places and policies. When surveyed, 82% of U.S. mayors agreed that pets make cities better.
And in a surprise announcement, Mars Petcare decided to give EVERY city that applied for the grant free-pet food donations for their local shelters and care facilities.
See here for more information:
The winners of the inaugural Better Cities for Pets™ Grants have been announced! Read the press release.
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 promote pet-friendly communities. Together, we’re launching a new nationwide initiative to promote, support and expand pet-friendly programs and policies in America’s cities. The BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ initiative can help your city advance the goal of creating welcoming places for people and pets to live, work and play together.
If you’re interested in making your city more pet-friendly, Mars Petcare has shared these tips:
- Use our Pet-Friendly City Assessment to understand your city’s current pet-friendliness and greatest opportunities.
- Check the 12 Traits of Pet-Friendly Cities model to determine where you want to focus. If you already know your top priority, use these links to go straight to supporting resources:
- Building a coalition to end pet homelessness
- Making shelters warm and welcoming to encourage adoption
- Community cat programs to address overpopulation
- Increasing pet-friendly housing options
- Eliminating breed or size bans
- Encouraging pet-friendly housing with pet amenities
- Adding pet-friendly green space to your city
- Increasing pet amenities like hydration and waste stations
- Educating about responsible pet ownership
- Launching a pet-friendly retail and restaurants program
- Making traveling with pets more accessible
- Supporting pets-at-work programs
- Review the Playbook for Pet-Friendly Cities for ideas to help you build your program. The playbook has numerous tips and learnings from best practices and pilot programs that are already underway.
- Consider partners such as:
- A local nonprofit animal welfare organization for pet adoption or spay/neuter programs
- org’s Rescue Rebuild program for shelter and park renovations/builds
- Local developers for pet-friendly housing advances
- Your local Downtown Association or Chamber of Commerce for pet-friendly business programs
Get inspired! Here’s a quick look at how pets make life better and why making cities more pet friendly helps everyone enjoy a better life: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJE5w9YrVoM
Jubi Arriola-Headley for
The United States Conference of Mayors