May 23, 2019

Pets are a Part of a Healthy Community

I’ve been lucky to visit parts of Europe a number of times. One of the things that always strikes me is the integration of dogs into everyday life. Whether it be in an English country pub, on a subway or at a bottega in Italy, dogs are simply there, walking with their owners, or curled up under a chair. It is a fantastic sight. It’s both normal and accepted.  And I have never seen it be disruptive in the least.

Interestingly, pets in Europe are more likely to see a veterinarian than their North American brothers and sisters.  And when they go, it’s far more likely that the visit will be covered by pet insurance. Coincidence? Maybe, but I doubt it. I know pets that are considered part of the family are better cared for, so why wouldn’t pets that are part of a community be better cared for as well?

This is why the OHS has launched our Dog-Friendly Business Program to better integrate dogs into our community. The program encourages both pet owners and non-pet owners to view pets as a positive and healthy part of our city. Stores, restaurants— in fact virtually all businesses—may join. In exchange for a nominal annual fee, businesses will receive a welcome package that includes a water dish, leash, dog treats and a treat jar, a $20 Ren’s gift certificate, signage, and a best practices guide for becoming a dog-friendly business.

The OHS will maintain a list of official OHS pet friendly businesses and market them as such, so the businesses gain new clientele and goodwill. The funds raised help the animals in the care of the OHS, and ultimately all dogs in our community are helped by a more welcoming community.  

Bruce Roney
President and CEO