Dog-friendly Chicago has been named DogTown USA by DOG FANCY in its December issue. The city was chosen for its quality veterinary care, low owner surrender rate, variety of dog parks, participation in preventive care, percentage of spayed/neutered dogs, and canine-friendly activities, restaurants, businesses, and rental housing. But Chicago’s progress in working with nonprofit organizations to reduce its homeless dog population and euthanasia rate really tipped the scales in favor of the Windy City.
DOG FANCY readers first nominated cities, then a DOG FANCY researcher culled the list based on whether nominated cities had sanctioned off-leash areas, leash laws, dog-licensing laws, 24-hour emergency veterinary care within 30 miles, and a humane society or SPCA-affiliated shelter in the city. Any city with breed-specific legislation was also eliminated.
The remaining cities were investigated, then ranked on nearly 20 criteria.
PAWS Chicago, a rescue and shelter, received over $3,500 in merchandise and cash from DogTown USA sponsors: Deramaxx, Flexi-Mat Corporation, Nestle Purina PetCare, Nutri-Vet, Soft Claws, VPI Pet Insurance, and Wahl Clipper Corporation. The companies also provided prizes for attendees at the Chicago Canine Rescue Foundation Mutt Strut Sept. 24 where the city was awarded a plaque for being the best city in the U.S. to be a dog.
Other cities listed in DOG FANCY’s Top 10 included:
- Albuquerque, N.M.
- Austin, Texas
- Bellingham, Wash.
- Coral Springs, Fla.
- Houston, Texas
- Long Beach, Calif.
- New York, N.Y.
- Richmond, Va.
- Santa Barbara, Calif.
DOG FANCY will undertake the DogTown USA project again in 2006, soliciting reader nominations beginning in January.