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Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Fort Worth receives awards for pet-friendly programs

Friday, Fort Worth received a $50,000 award from Mars Petcare and UCSM’s BETTER CITIES FOR PETS Grant Program. The award is part of a nationwide initiative designed to help cities implement, support and expand pet-friendly programs and policies.

“Fort Worth prides itself on being a pet-friendly city, as research shows living with pets enhances quality of life and has numerous health benefits,” Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price said. “This grant will support the City of Fort Worth’s Animal Care and Control Unit as they expand efforts to improve animal well-being, as well as provide additional pet care resources and services to our citizens.”

Among the heartwarming stories involving animals in Fort Worth is the tale is Millie, a 2-year-old black terrier-mix and her brother. Their owner, unable to care for them, surrendered them to the Fort Worth Animal Shelter in terrible condition that included mats pulling at skin and heartworm.

Thanks to the work of the Fort Worth shelter, however, Millie and her brother were both adopted into loving homes shortly after being surrendered.

Nationwide, thousands of municipal animal shelters struggle every day as they are overwhelmed with the number of animals coming in as a result of being surrendered or found left roaming the streets after owners can no longer care for them. It would be wonderful if every animal’s story ended up like Millie and her brother, but sadly that is simply not the case many times.

Data collected by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) from our nation’s most underserved communities found startling differences in pet ownership. People living in underserved communities love their pets’ as much as pet owners anywhere else in the nation. However, they don’t have access to veterinary care, spay/neuter, and other services most Americans take for granted.

Statistics supporting this include:

*Twenty-three millions pets live in underserved communities in the U.S.

*Eighty-seven percent of pets living in underserved communities are not spayed or neutered.

*Seventy-seven percent of pets in underserved communities have never seen a veterinarian.

The Fort Worth Animal Welfare Division of Code Compliance will utilize Pets for Life, a national program providing wellness resources to residents in underserved communities. City officials say this grant will help residents receive information and assistance with access to free or low-cost pet services, such as vaccinations, spay/neuter, and micro-chipping.

The Ash Crescent neighborhood has been selected to receive the initial services provided as a result of the grant.

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