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Mars Petcare Rolls Out Pet-Friendly Cities Certification

It’s an extension of the Better Cities for Pets program.

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FRANKLIN, TN — Mars Petcare has announced the “Better City for Pets” certification.

The national certification is an extension of the Mars Petcare Better Cities for Pets program, which works with local government, businesses and non-profits “to help communities make our four-legged friends welcome, so everyone can enjoy the benefits of a life with cats and dogs,” according to a press release from Mars Petcare.

The certification will celebrate cities that recognize the importance of pets and have made progress toward becoming more pet-friendly.

“Cities across the country are making strides towards becoming more pet friendly, but there’s more work to be done,” said Mark Johnson, president of Mars Petcare North America. “Through this certification, we hope to inspire more cities to take real action that leads to a better quality of life for people and pets in their communities.”

Launched in 2017, the Mars Petcare Better Cities for Pets program “is rooted in insights and data that pets make individuals and communities better – from helping people live healthier lives to encouraging social connections,” according to the release.

Since its inaugural year, the program has impacted more than 100 cities, providing $100,000 in grants and $1 million in pet food donations, as well as resources and city-specific guidance to help more communities become pet-friendly.

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The introduction of the Mars Petcare “Better City for Pets” certification coincided with the 87th U.S. Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting, which took place Jan. 23-25 in Washington, DC. Mars Petcare met with key government officials to introduce this opportunity for their cities to be nationally recognized as pet-friendly.

The certification, created in partnership with urban-planning organization Nashville Civic Design Center, evaluates cities based on 12 traits of pet-friendly cities across four categories: businesses, parks, shelters and homes.

City officials may apply for the certification online at BetterCitiesforPets.com. Cities that meet the criteria will receive the certification, along with a toolkit of assets and resources that can be used to spread the news to their community. In addition, certified cities will be recognized on the Better Cities for Pets website so that community members can easily identify pet-friendly locations to live and visit.

In 2018, the Mars Petcare Better Cities for Pets program and USCM partnered to give $100,000 in grants. As grant recipients, the cities of Richmond and Hallandale Beach were able to quickly make an impact through therapy, training and educational programs.

To build on the success of the 2018 grant program and increase the number of pet-friendly cities in America, Mars Petcare and USCM have issued a call for 2019 grant entries. Cities seeking grants must demonstrate a commitment to existing and future pet-friendly community efforts.

Applications will be submitted to an independent panel of judges who will determine which cities will be awarded grants. All cities applying for the certification will also be prompted to apply for a grant, if they choose to do so, at the completion of their application. Grant applications are due March 8 and the grant recipients will be announced this summer during USCM’s 87th Annual Meeting starting June 28.

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To learn more about the 2019 grant applications visit: www.usmayors.org/pets.

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State Bill Would Ban Pet Leasing

A few other states already have similar laws.

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A proposed law in Connecticut would ban the practice of pet leasing.

The legislation seeks to outlaw leases in which the new pet owners accept high interest rates and believe they are agreeing to a payment plan, the Connecticut Post reports.

Such agreements open the possibility of the pet being repossessed at a later date, according to the publication.

The state Senate approved the ban last week. The proposed legislation will now be considered in the state House.

Bob Duff, a Democrat serving as Senate majority leader, said: “As a pet owner myself, I could never imagine leasing a pet and then after six or nine months or whatever it is, giving it back. They might actually think they own the pet instead of leasing the pet.”

According to the Post, pet leasing has already been banned in Nevada, California and New York.

The Connecticut proposal would still allow for certain types of pet leases, including “those for breeding purebred dogs, renting show animals or obtaining guide or law enforcement dogs,” according to the Post.

Find out more at the Connecticut Post 

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Chewy to Open $55M Facility, Creating 1,200 Jobs

It’s planning a fulfillment center.

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Chewy, an online pet supply retailer, has selected Rowan County, NC, for its new fulfillment center, with plans to create 1,200 new jobs and invest $55 million.

“Chewy selected North Carolina because from our infrastructure to our workforce, we have everything businesses need to succeed,” said Gov. Roy Cooper. “These new jobs will make a positive impact on Rowan County and the surrounding area.”

The e-commerce company will locate in Salisbury, NC.

Chewy is dually headquartered in Dania Beach, FL, and Boston, MA. It has customer service centers in Dallas, TX, and Hollywood, FL, and eight fulfillment centers around the country.

“We’re excited to expand Chewy’s fulfillment operations to North Carolina, our first in the state and ninth in the country,” said Pete Krilles, vice president, corporate real estate and facilities, for Chewy. “We greatly appreciate the partnership with the City of Salisbury, Rowan County, the Salisbury-Rowan Economic Development Commission, North Carolina Department of Commerce, and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.

“We look forward to making a positive economic contribution to the region with the creation of 1,200 new jobs. In addition to job creation, our new fulfillment center will enhance our delivery network across the southeastern United States, allowing us to better service Chewy customers with even faster delivery times.”

“Companies like Chewy will find success in North Carolina because we have a strong workforce and desirable business climate,” said Secretary of Commerce Anthony M. Copeland. “Pair that with our location and quality of life and you’ve got a winning formula.”

The North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of NC were instrumental in supporting the company’s expansion decision.

A performance-based grant of $166,650 from the One North Carolina Fund will support the creation of 150 of the new jobs, facilitating Chewy’s establishment of the facility in North Carolina. The One NC Fund provides financial assistance to local governments to help attract economic investment and to create jobs. Companies receive no money upfront and must meet job creation and capital investment targets to qualify for payment. All One NC grants require a matching grant from local governments and any award is contingent upon that condition being met.

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Pet Store Chain Files for Bankruptcy

Its owner died in January.

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Petland Discounts, a chain that operated in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

The action follows the January death of the company’s owner, Neil Padron.

The company has closed its stores.

Notices with each of the three states’ labor departments indicated that more than 300 jobs could be lost across 70 store locations.

The bankruptcy petition was filed in New York Eastern Bankruptcy Court.

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Padron started the business in 1965. He died of bladder cancer on Jan. 14.

Details of the bankruptcy case are available here.

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