The Making of a Most Pet Friendly Community

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By Jessie McDowell, Content Marketing Specialist

MPFCIn 2011, Knoxville was chosen as the most pet friendly community in the Southeast by Dog Fancy magazine, and we have been working to defend our title ever since. Going to the dogs in your community can be easier than you think. With some tips, persistence and plenty of puppy passion, your community can start to be pet friendlier too.

Get Started With:

1. Social Media

There is nothing better than a free tool to get the word out about your movement. Invite friends and family to help the word spread. We suggest Facebook first, then add Twitter or Instagram.

22. A Website

There are so many tools out there to create your own website. Buy your own unique domain name, and then start to research the website builder that is best for your needs. Many website builders are pretty cheap or even free! A few that we suggest would be: Wix, Squarespace or Weebly.

3. A Team

You are only as good as your team, so make sure you have some passionate pet lovers around you. It will lessen the work on you and make the movement more fun!

Add in:

1. Community Involvement

When you have your team, you can start to spread the word. One of the best ways to do this is to have a presence at community events, especially pet events. With Knoxville’s movement, we attend local sporting events, like dog friendly games with the Tennessee Smokies, to reach other pet lovers and show support for pet friendly events already in existence.

2. Shelter Support

Your local shelter can be a great resource as you start to become more pet friendly. Shelters have great contacts in the animal world and may have great advice for you. Volunteer with the shelter and begin to support them in any way you can. Trust me, you will learn so much.

33. Local Businesses

Try to reach out to local pet stores and pet friendly businesses to see if they will support your effort. Make connections with these businesses and encourage other businesses to join the pet friendly trend. Businesses are usually open to hearing what you have to say, and they are great resources.

Goals:

1. More Pet Friendly Businesses

A goal Knoxville has is to create more pet friendly restaurant patios. It helps to see pet families out and about and really encourages adoption. There are laws surrounding pet friendly patios, and a permit must be given, so start to get more information in the hands of businesses. They might be very open to applying.

2. More Adoptions

Adoption events warm the heart. Start to support the shelter with events and word of mouth around adoption. Increasing pet ownership in your community is a great goal to work toward.

43. More Dog Parks

Dog parks encourage responsible pet owners. With more dog parks in your community, active and socialized dogs will be more common, and pet owners will have a place to meet.

4. More Awareness

There are so many animal issues that need to be brought to light. In Knoxville, we hold a gala and a walk to support canine cancer. Start to find your passion and create events that will bring support and save animals in your area.

5

Creating a pet friendly community involves so much work and heart, but in the end it is a rewarding experience you won’t regret. Good luck!

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