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25 Cities Honored for Pet-Friendliness

The certification was created by Mars Petcare and experts from the Civic Design Center.

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FRANKLIN, TN — Twenty-five cities throughout North America have landed on the inaugural list of Better City for Pets certified cities.

The certification “honors the work that has been done to create a friendly environment for two- and four-legged citizens and the commitment from each of these cities to continue improving their pet-friendly programs and policies,” according to a press release from Mars Petcare.

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Mars Petcare and experts from the Civic Design Center created the certification as an extension of the Mars Petcare Better Cities for Pets program. The program works with local governments, businesses and non-profits to provide resources, tools and grants that help communities make pets more welcome.

“On behalf of Mars Petcare, I want to thank and congratulate the 25 cities that have prioritized people and pets in their communities,” said Mark Johnson, president of Mars Petcare North America. “From helping people live healthier lives to creating social connections, pets can truly transform our communities. These certified cities are helping to make a more pet-friendly world and we hope that many more cities will join us in this commitment.”

The following cities share the honor of being the first to achieve the Better City for Pets certification:

  • Bloomington, IN
  • Nashville, TN
  • Calumet City, IL
  • Oakland, CA
  • Cleveland, OH
  • Plano, TX
  • Dallas, TX
  • Port St. Lucie, FL
  • Fort Wayne, IN
  • Reno, NV
  • Franklin, TN
  • Rochester, MI
  • Hallandale Beach, FL
  • Royalton, MN
  • Henderson, NN
  • Santa Clarita, CA
  • Laguna Niguel, CA
  • Southport, NC
  • Meaford, Ontario
  • St. Petersburg, FL
  • Memphis, TN
  • Topeka, KS
  • Miami Lakes, FL
  • Tucson, AZ
  • Miami, FL

Through an online assessment at BetterCitiesForPets.com, participating cities were asked to share data on existing and future pet-friendly features within three sections: city profile, survey and priorities. Cities were then evaluated based on 12 traits of pet-friendly cities across the areas of businesses, parks, shelters and homes. Cities that met the certification criteria and committed to continuing their progress in creating a welcoming community for people and pets received the Better City for Pets certification. All cities that completed the assessment received a personalized report outlining their strengths and areas of opportunity, along with resources and tools from the Better Cities for Pets program to help them on their pet-friendly journey.

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Since launching in 2017, PETS+ has won 16 major international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact PETS+'s editors at editor@petsplusmag.com.

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