BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ certified cities have programs and policies that make it easier for pets and pet owners to live a happy, healthy life together.
What Makes Fort Smith a Pet-Friendly City?
Certified in the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program in 2021, Fort Smith, AR scored especially well in the Homes trait of our pet-friendly cities model.
Among other pet-friendly features, Fort Smith is surrounded by nature. As a policy, the city’s Parks Department provides doggie waste pick-up bags in all of its parks, and ensures that when a drinking fountain needs to be replaced for a human, a doggie drinking fountain is also added.
The city also recently created a public/private partnership to develop second dog park in the Chaffee Crossing neighborhood. (Mars Petcare is one of the partners. The company has a pet food manufacturing facility in Fort Smith.)
Each summer, the Fort Smith Parks & Recreation Department also holds an annual “Pooch Plunge” at the Creekmore Park Swimming Pool.
Serving People and Pets
The Fort Smith Police Department’s Animal Control Division serves the citizens of Fort Smith with professional service in all areas concerning the welfare of animals…and has a cat as its official mascot!
Since his 2019 swearing in, Pawfficer Fuzz has been “paw-trolling” the halls of schools, nursing homes, Chamber of Commerce ribbon cuttings and other community events to ensure the “purr-tection” of Fort Smith citizens. Follow Pawfficer Fuzz’s “purr-suits” on his Instagram page!
The Police Department also partners with Manes & Miracles, a nonprofit that offers equine-assisted therapy to veterans and people with disabilities. Equine therapy has been used to treat both adults and children suffering from autism, seizure disorder, anxiety disorder, learning disorders, brain injury, behavioral problems, and many other physical and emotional disorders.
And that’s not to mention the pet-focused businesses! Voted “Best Pet Store” in the River Valley, Doods and Dames Dog Bakery and Boutique is a locally owned and operated Fort Smith pet bakery and retailer that specializes in baking celebration and birthday cakes for pets. They also offer other home-made treats, pet apparel, toys, and accessories.
Fort Smith’s Mayor on Making Pets Welcome
“We continue to explore novel and inventive ways to advance the quality of life for our residents, our visitors and their pets. We understand, as a community, pets are a part of the family. Certification as a “BETTER CITIES FOR PETS” city emphasizes our strong love for pets. In addition, it focuses on our city’s pet-friendly housing options and pet amenities. We are “Fort Smith Proud” to receive this honor. We will continue to work hard developing the quality of life for all our residents.”
–Mayor George B. McGill