Washington, D.C. has joined the Better Cities for Pets movement and adopted more pet-friendly programs through a US$25,000 grant issued by Mars Petcare’s Better Cities for Pets program.

The city has partnered with Mars Petcare on a number of pet-friendly initiatives in 2018, including:

  • Grant for pet-friendly programs
    The US$25,000 grant will allow Humane Rescue Alliance (HRA), the District of Columbia and Mars Petcare to partner on a campaign focused on enjoying the city with your dog responsibly, including installation of multiple pet amenity stations with waste bags that will also include educational messaging in key locations across the city. By expanding the mayor’s existing Clean Cities Initiative to include new pet-friendly amenities, the city will improve quality of life for people with pets and make it easier for D.C. residents to clean up after their pets.
     
  • D.C.’s cherry blossom festival goes pet-friendly
    The National Cherry Blossom Festival in D.C. partnered with Mars Petcare to make select signature events “pet-friendly.” The thousands of daily festival attendees were offered new amenities for their pets, including comfort stations featuring waste bag distribution, treats, shade, and water stations using bowls with potable water to keep dogs hydrated and out of the sun, as well as educational resources on responsible pet ownership and the importance of creating more pet-friendly spaces.

Advocating for pet-friendly cities across the US

To help US communities adopt similar policies and programs, Mars Petcare and the Better Cities for Pets initiative will issue three grants totaling US$100,000 in partnership with the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM).

USCM member mayors can apply to be considered for a grant designed to help cities promote, support and expand pet-friendly programs and policies in communities across the US. Applications must demonstrate a commitment to continuing and expanding their pet-friendly community efforts.

Washington, D.C. fosters pet-friendly work environments 

D.C. has a recent history of creating pet-friendly environments. A survey sponsored by Nestlé Purina PetCare confirmed that Capitol Hill is a very pet-friendly workplace. A majority of House and Senate offices who responded to the survey said they welcome pets at work on the Hill.

The survey included in-person interviews in House and Senate offices during August 2017 and was conducted on behalf of the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI), to call attention to the benefits of pet-friendly workplaces. 

The Hill survey findings paint a picture of a very pet-friendly workplace:

  • More than 80 percent of the 192 House and Senate offices who responded said they welcome pets in the office, either during recess, while Congress is in session, or both. By comparison, according to the Society for Human Resource Management, just 7 percent of American workplaces allow pets.
  • The pet-friendly Hill office findings were relatively consistent across party lines, geographic regions, and both chambers, suggesting wide bipartisan support for having pets at work.