Welcome to Dogtown USA

In DOG FANCY'S search for the best cities in which to be a dog, we discovered innovative shelter programs, generous amenities, thoughtful policies, and many wonderful dog-lovers.

By | Posted: Tue Sep 25 00:00:00 PDT 2001

Page 9 of 9

New Hampshire - All right, it's a state, not a city. But with a population of 1.2 million, it's smaller than many urban areas that have tried unsuccessfully to improve dogs' lives by keeping them alive in good homes.

Through a simple program instituted in 1994, the state's shelters curbed euthanasia by 70 percent. That's 8,000 fewer animals killed a year, or 20 fewer a day. In plain numbers, in 1993-the year before the program started-shelters put down 11,495 pets. In 1999, the total dropped to 3,441.

The program gives people access to low-cost or free spay and neuter services. Through a $2 surcharge on dog licenses, the state has collected $1.25 million in the last eight years for sterilization; it has spayed and neutered more than 29,000 dogs and cats.

New Hampshire now boasts the lowest per capita euthanasia rate of any state. It has 2.4 deaths per 1,000 residents, compared to a whopping 44 per 1,000 in Florida.

St. Louis - Sprinklers at the Humane Society of Missouri's 3-year-old animal shelter come on every 30 minutes, flushing out the dogs' bowls and refilling them so dogs always have fresh water to drink. When the agency built the new shelter, it razed its 70-year-old building and created a dogpark, complete with a fountain and lots of green space. The Gateway City offers progressive animal anti-cruelty programs, educational programs, and outdoor festivals built around dogs.


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