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 Mattoon a Pet-Friendly City?
Certified in the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program in 2022, Mattoon, Illinois, scored especially well in the Shelters and Homes traits of our pet-friendly cities model.
Mattoon is also home to many pet-friendly businesses (including a Mars Petcare plant) and organizations with resident dogs, such as Mattoon Rehabilitation and HealthCare Center and Douglas-Hart Nature Center.
At Mattoon Rehabilitation and HealthCare Center, resident dogs Raven and Buddy have the full run of the building. When they aren’t busy helping residents feel more at home, they can be found napping on the facility’s comfy couches. In this photo, they’ve just gotten married to the delight of residents!
At Douglas-Hart Nature Center, resident cat Dexter gets to show guests all of his favorite exhibits. Tickets to his tour cost one scratch behind the ear. Pictured are Abby and Keegan, nature center educators, with Dexter.
The community is currently working to develop a community dog park – “the paw print of our community providing a safe and fun space for dogs and their owners.” It will sit on eight acres of land donated by the city, and fundraising is underway to complete the park. Designs have already been developed and the fencing has been delivered. The goal is to have the park complete within the next 18 months.
The AVS Stars and Stripes Run, a pet-friendly event in Mattoon organized by the owners of the local Dairy Queen Grill & Chill, has helped raise funds for the effort. Pictured here are Kurt Stretch, superintendent of Mattoon Parks; Mark and Moni Sheehan, owners of Dairy Queen Grill & Chill; Katrina Butler, of Butler Insurance Agency; and David Cox, of the Mattoon City Council. They’ve raised over $3,000 for the dog park!
Mattoon’s Mayor on Being Pet-Friendly
“Mattoon is excited about being selected as a Better Cities for Pets recipient. It puts us in a select group of other cities and gives us a chance to promote something our citizens and businesses enjoy doing. In the past many of our citizens were already showing their love for pets by bringing dogs on 5K runs, allowing them in businesses, and seeing dogs on daily walks with their owners. Recently a group of citizens established a dog park committee and asked the city government if we would donate some land near a grade school. It was an easy decision for us. This project was slowed because of Covid-19 but we are back on track now.”
– Mayor Rick Hall
Mayor Hall (left) is pictured with Bernie (right) and his dog Cammie from deBuhr’s Feed & Seed, a four-generation business started in Mattoon in 1914.