Let's do a better job of welcoming dogs.
There are just four recognized pet-friendly communities in Washington, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Wyoming. Lake Stevens, Washington, Gresham and Sutherlin, Oregon, and Jackson, Wyoming are among them. What about Idaho and Montana? None.
Through its Better Cities For Pets program, Mars Pet Care is once again attempting to assist communities in becoming pet friendly certified (bettercitiesforpets.com).
Let me start by saying that the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine is in the process of establishing a collaboration with Mars. They don't know who I am, and they have no idea that I'm writing this column.
That takes me to my first piece of advice. If an organization certifies cities as pet-friendly, it should also certify colleges and universities. Every developer understands that nowadays, if they are creating student apartments, they must include provisions for residents to have dogs.
The issue is that developers have yet to take the next step. Where are the designated pet waste disposal areas and receptacles, for example? Believe me when I say that I live near the greatest cluster of predominantly student residences in Moscow, which runs along West A Street. I notice a lot of young people walking their dogs around there, but very few of them appear to have bags with them to clean up their dog's feces.
I'd rather not go look at the postage stamp pieces of both public and private land nearby. The majority of dog walkers gravitate to these patches of grass. It's most likely a shambles as a result of a few pet owners who don't pick up after their animals.
Back to the Red Planet. I've already written about their program. I was ecstatic to learn about the recent initiative to certify more cities. At the same time, I was unhappy to find only four cities in the five-state area recognized as such.
Shelters, housing, parks, and companies are the four pillars of the Mars initiative. Each pillar has three guidelines, for a total of 12 guidelines. Either Moscow or Pullman would almost certainly be able to obtain accreditation.
Pullman, which has a veterinary college and a modern shelter, may be in a better situation. However, with the city's and county's kilometers of walking routes, Moscow might be competitive.
While it's too much to go into here, the certification document that one would submit on behalf of the city is only 26 pages long and has only basic information and questions, so it's not a big deal. The website even provides you with a copy of the evaluation form to use as a template for your application.
Is there no one out there that wants to be an Eagle Scout and contribute with their community? What about a student who wants to do an internship in, say, public administration? Is this a project for an architectural or urban geography class? Wouldn't it be the best knowledge for moving forward and growing better if our cities were denied certification?
Cities and developers, in my opinion, are squandering an opportunity to make these communities even better than they are.
As a result, universities are now unrecognized by Mars. Again, I believe there is an opportunity. How about a proposal to be the first university to achieve this status and so serve as a model for others in the future?
Companion animals are sometimes referred to be the children of the twenty-first century in various parts of the world. Unquestionably. Instead of squeezing renters with excessive damage deposits, entice them with services that are not only pet-friendly, but also pet-ideal.
Imagine walking into a university city and seeing "Pet Friendly Certified" written on the sidewalk.