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Mars Petcare is taking its commitment to creating a more pet-friendly world to new heights by announcing 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.

The Mars Petcare ‘BETTER CITY FOR PETS’ 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.”

IMPACTING CHANGE

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.

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. Through the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS program, Mars Petcare has taken on an active role in positively impacting legislation and supporting policy change to make communities pet friendly.

“BETTER CITY FOR PETS” CERTIFICATION

The introduction of the Mars Petcare “BETTER CITY FOR PETS” certification is just in time for the 87th U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) Winter Meeting, which took place at the end of January in Washington, D.C. At the conference, Mars Petcare met with key government officials to introduce this new 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, showcasing their commitment to creating a pet-friendly community and fostering the well-being of all two- and four-legged citizens. Cities that meet the criteria will receive the “BETTER CITY FOR PETS” certification, along with a toolkit of assets and resources that can be used to spread the news to their community. In addition, all “BETTER CITY FOR PETS” 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. All applicants will receive ongoing tips and recommendations from Mars Petcare, highlighting solutions and areas to continue to progress their pet friendly efforts.

Citizens looking to make their community more pet-friendly can also visit BetterCitiesforPets.com, where they’ll find a variety of resources outlining the importance of a pet-friendly community and how they can support their local government.

BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ GRANT PROGRAM

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 “BETTER CITY FOR PETS” 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.

To learn more about the 2019 grant applications visit: www.usmayors.org/pets. For more information on the “BETTER CITY FOR PETS” certification or the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS program, please visit BetterCitiesForPets.com.

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