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From Digital Animal Licenses to Pop-Up Rabies Clinics: How Your City Can Become More Pet-Friendly

By Stephen Brandofino

In recent years, pet ownership has become a quintessential aspect of the American dream. Whether it is a loyal dog or a curious cat, more and more American citizens are becoming pet owners. In fact, according to Forbes, 44.5% of U.S. households own dogs, with 29% opting for cat ownership. With the continuing desire by citizens to own a furry friend, it is important that your local government is equipped with the necessary tools to help in this process. 

Local government officials can face different difficulties when working to ensure that pet owners take all the necessary steps to register and care for their pets. When dealing with this issue, it should be paramount for officials to support pet owners in numerous different ways. With the help of GovPilot’s Pet Licensing software, constituents can begin the amazing journey of pet ownership.   

What is a Pet Friendly Initiative?

A pet-friendly initiative refers to a set of policies, practices, or actions that make an environment more suitable for pets and their owners. These initiatives can do many different things such as allow for public spaces to be accessible to pets as well as create more pet friendly housing policies. Some of the necessary aspects your local government can take to become more pet-friendly can include:

  • Creation of Pet-Friendly Establishments

It may be a good idea to encourage local businesses such as restaurants, cafes, hotels, and shops to welcome pets onto their premises. This may involve creating designated pet friendly areas, providing water bowls, or even offering specific pet friendly amenities. 

  • Workplace Policies

Local government officials should look to foster a sense of acceptance within workplaces for pets. Allowing employees to bring well-behaved pets to the workplace, can create a pet-friendly office culture, and in general a more pet-friendly community.

  • Community Events and Activities

Local government events can be the hub of social life for a community. Creating events and activities that are pet centric can promote socialization amongst pet owners as well as raise awareness for animal welfare. Some of these events may include adoption fairs, pet parades, and charity fundraisers. 

There are numerous other ways that local government officials can enact a pet friendly initiative. Some of the other ways include educational campaigns through social media, service animal support, and creating other regulatory policies to make pets and their owners feel safe and welcome. 

Why Is It Important to Unleash a Successful Pet-Friendly Initiative?

A successful and well thought out pet-friendly initiative has numerous different benefits. Not only will these initiatives positively impact pet owners and their pets, the positive impacts seen on the community as a whole cannot be understated. 

Some of the most important benefits of a pet-friendly initiative include:

  • Enhanced Constituent Well-Being 

There is no denying that the bond between a pet and its owner is one filled with love, nurturing, and compassion. It is a unique bond that teaches owners responsibility and empathy, and also allows for wonderful memories to be made. 

Pets can offer emotional support, companionship, and have been linked to reducing levels of stress and loneliness. Allowing for pets in homes, public spaces, and even workplaces can help in significantly improving the mental health of constituents. 

Learn more about Streamlining Constituent Services

  • Social Cohesion 

In many respects, nothing can bring together a group of people more than pets. Owners can bond over shared interests in their furry companions, leading to great interactions in your community. Pet friendly environments will allow for more social interaction amongst constituents, which will positively impact the local community as a whole. 

  • Physical Health

Not only does a pet friendly community positively impact the mental health of your constituents, their physical health will also be positively impacted by this move. Pet ownership requires at times large amounts of physical activity. Whether it is walking your dog daily, or playing fetch in the backyard, pets require physical activity and stimulation. 

Check out GovPilots Guide To The Role Local Governments Play in Promoting Public Health: A Guide To Building Healthy Communities

  • Inclusivity and Accessibility 

Localities that enact pet-friendly initiatives will surely see a growth in the sense of inclusivity by members of the community who may have not felt that way. Constituents who may rely on pets as emotional support or service animals, will feel more included in a community that accepts their companions. 

The positive impacts that a pet friendly local government will have are innumerable. Other than the previously mentioned benefits, a local community will see:

  • A positive impact on the local environment
  • A boost in the local economy
  • More positive steps being made for animal welfare

Learn more about 8 Local Government Revenue Generation Sources

How Can GovPilot Help Your Local Government Implement a Pet-friendly Initiative

When local government officials are looking to make their communities more pet friendly, it may be a difficult task to figure out where to begin. With the help of GovPilots many different health department software offerings, the process of becoming pet friendly has never been easier. Some of the different animal related softwares that are offered by GovPilot include:

  • Animal/ Pet Licensing 

Thanks to GovPilots Animal / Pet Licensing software, it has never been easier for constituents to either apply for or renew their annual licenses to own their pets. Renewal reminders can be automatically sent and registration within the database will create a system for animal control officers to have information to contact pet owners in the event their animal is lost.   

  • Animal Impound System 

With the assistance of GovPilots Animal Impound / Intake forms, local government officials can keep thorough records of all animals impounded by the local government. These records can include things like photos, animal information, and even adoption records. 

  • Dog Park Use Pass 

If local governments want to create public parks accessible to pet owners and their dogs, they will need a system to allow for constituents to apply for passes to use the parks. GovPilot’s Dog Park Use Pass can allow for local government issuing departments to keep track of renewals for these passes.

GovPilot softwares can certainly be an instrumental factor in moving your municipality to a more pet friendly city, and the limitations of the usages of their softwares for this do not stop at certain health department softwares. 

    • GIS Mapping- GIS Mapping for Government, can allow for local government officials to better plan where they will put pet friendly parks. They can look at different data sets to better understand where this type of park would be most suitable in their community. 
    • Special Event Application- With the help of GovPilot’s Special Event Application, pet parades, adoption clinics, and other pet friendly gatherings can be registered for and organized promptly.     
    • Volunteer Application- Many community members may not feel like they have the capabilities to own and take care of a pet. GovPilot’s Volunteer Application can allow for constituents to take part in pet related volunteer projects. This software will also allow for the clerks department to keep track of these applicants.  

Cities Across The Country That Set The Example For Pet-Friendly Initiatives

With the help of GovPilots many different pet friendly softwares, numerous different cities across the country have been able to implement more pet friendly initiatives. Whether it is digital animal licenses or pop up rabies clinics, city officials are looking at ways to become more accessible to pet owners. Here are a few different examples of pet friendly initiatives from across the country. 

  • Union Beach, NJ 

Prior to implementing GovPilots pet licensing software, citizens of Union Beach, New Jersey had to make a trip to city hall in order to apply for these licenses. For people who weren't able to make the trip, they had to send their applications along with proof of rabies vaccinations through the mail and wait for approval. 

Local government employees and constituents alike became entangled in issues related to delays, improperly filled out forms, and other administrative issues. Union Beach Municipal Clerk Anne Marie Friscia commented on this move stating “ the Dog License module has saved employees and constituents so much time!”  

  • Nashville, Tennessee 

The home of Rock and Roll has turned to GovPilot in order to become a more pet-friendly city. Nashville's Civic Design Center’s Reclaiming Public Spaces Initiative has placed a focus on creating public spaces that “enhance quality of life” and “increase feelings of community and connectivity.” They have decided to turn two pieces of unused land into pet friendly areas. 

Now, pet owners are able to access public land with their pets and feel safe and comfortable. Furthermore, Nashville pets are able to attend farmers markets, specifically Nashville's 24/7 Farmers Market. The market now has a grassy area where pets are able to congregate, fitted with pet waste and hydration stations.  

  • River Vale, NJ 

River Vale New Jersey has chosen to prioritize the health and wellbeing of the pets who call their city home. The River Vale Board of Health and the Northwest Bergen Regional Health Commission requires that all cats and dogs are vaccinated for rabies by the age of 4 months old. To help administer this policy, the city holds a free rabies vaccination clinic every fall, allowing for pet owners to engage in compliance of the local ordinances. This event is held at their public works building, making it easily accessible to all citizens. 

Become A More Pet Friendly City Now! 

Local government officials should look to utilize the wide range of GovPilot’s offerings to create a more pet-friendly initiative. Whether it is the ease of pet applications, utilizing GIS Mapping to find where pet parks will be most suitable, or even finding volunteer applications through the clerks department, GovPilot has a limitless reach in helping to create a pet friendly city. Book a consultation with GovPilot today. 

Pet Friendly Initiatives FAQs

  • What is a Pet-Friendly Initiative?

A pet-friendly initiative refers to a concerted effort or a set of laws and measures by a local government designed to accommodate and include pets in various aspects of the community, promoting their well-being and the coexistence of pets and people. It is necessary for local government officials to be fully committed to these initiatives in order to become pet friendly. 

  • How can GovPilot help local governments in becoming pet-friendly?

GovPilot offers many different software solutions to assist local governments in becoming more pet friendly. Some of these solutions include, pet applications, Animal Impound Database, and Dog Park Passes.  

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