It’s easy to agree that educated pet owners who clean up after their animals are critical components of a pet-friendly city. Washington, DC, Mars Petcare and the Humane Rescue Alliance (HRA) have announced that they will develop a program to encourage pet owners to clean up after their animals.
The program will be part of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s ongoing Clean City Initiative, designed to make Washington, DC a cleaner, safer place to live.
“We are thrilled to join Mayor Bowser’s Clean City Initiative with the help of a generous $25,000 donation from Mars Petcare,” said HRA Chief Communications Officer David M. Smith. “We are focused on educating pet owners about responsible pet ownership, and with Mayor Bowser’s initiative, this is a perfect time to develop and launch this program.”
“DC residents love our dogs, but when we don’t clean up after them we know our neighbors don’t like the mess left behind,” said Julie Lawson, Director, Mayor’s office of the Clean City. “As we expand our efforts to engage our residents in keeping DC clean, safe, and healthy, we are thrilled to team up with partners who can really help us connect with dog owners, making DC a great city for people and for our pets.”
Initially, the program will include creation of an educational messaging campaign focused on encouraging the public to enjoy the District with their companion dog responsibly, including picking up waste and instilling good pet behavior. Pet amenity stations wrapped with educational messaging will be placed in key locations in the city. This will be a pilot concept with an eye toward potential expansion across the city. The amenity stations will include waste bags for pets.
“We are thrilled that the District of Columbia is joining the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™movement to ensure happier, healthier lives for both people and pets,” said Brad Figel, Vice President of North America Public Affairs for Mars, Incorporated and a 30 year resident of DC. “We know that 82% of mayors across the country agree that providing pet-friendly amenities can have an overall positive economic impact on their community. The work the city is doing to encourage responsible pet ownership and provide amenities for Washington, DC residents to clean up after their pets, are great examples of commitments we hope to see from all cities to create more pet-friendly amenities and policies for residents.”
Through a combination of educational messaging and piloting the use of amenities stations, HRA, Mars Petcare, and the District of Columbia will work to make DC a city that invites pet owners to enjoy our public places with their animals and encourages responsible clean-up and care. Mars Petcare has previous experience implementing Better Cities for Pets program in Nashville/Franklin, Tennessee and developed effective ways to engage pet owners, and provide amenities where they would get the most use and provide the greatest benefit.
The program is scheduled to launch in late spring.