The initiative, known as Better Cities for Pets, will bring Mars and the USCM together to identify challenges to creating pet-friendly cities and to work toward resolving them. As part of an effort to better understand the state of pet-friendliness in cities, Mars surveyed mayors about existing perceptions and trends about pets in their communities. Among the survey’s results,
- 100% of mayors agreed that pets can have a positive impact on human mental and physical health.
- 82% of mayors believed that pet friendly amenities can have an overall positive economic impact on their communities.
- 66% of mayors don’t have or aren’t aware of pet-friendly policies for public spaces like restaurants and stores.
- 29% of mayors reported that their cities do not have adequate access to pet friendly greenways or trails.
- 35% of mayors ranked facility upgrades as the greatest need to help homeless pet shelters in their communities.
- 74% of mayors believed that offering pet friendly amenities will help residential rental communities improve tenant stability.
- 81% of mayors believed that the availability of pet friendly amenities can help increase the value of residential property.
- 69% of mayors believed that implementing a responsible pet ownership educational campaign would help make their communities more pet-friendly.
Overall, larger cities tended to have greater degree of perceived pet-friendliness. Larger cities also reported more pet amenities and provided more financial assistance to pet owners than smaller cities. At the same time, larger cities also reported the greatest need for outdoor pet-friendly amenities.
“From scientific research to anecdotal evidence, it’s been proven time and time again that pets can improve our lives. We know that pets make us happier, keep us active and healthier and keep our neighborhoods safer. As mayors, these factors are critically important to us, and this survey shows that many of us still have needs for basic amenities for pets, such as parks and green space for people with pets to play and adequate shelters to care for homeless pets. Knowing the largest pain points across our cities will help us to better focus our attention on how to make progress in welcoming people with pets in our communities.”
— Megan Barry, Mayor, Nashville, Tennessee
The results of the survey have been published in a report by Mars that summarizes communities needs regarding shelters, parks, homes, and businesses. Additionally, Mars has created a guide for communities wishing to adopt pet-friendly policies. Both documents are available at bettercitiesforpets.com.