Every dog lover dreams of living in a place where their dog is treated as the son or daughter that their parents know them to be, and that place in Mesquite, Texas.
The city of Mesquite is branding itself the most dog- friendly city in Texas. Mesquite boasts a decreasing euthanasia rate in its shelter, a 30,000-square-foot off-leash park, dog-friendly hotels, and will host the Deck the Paws Pet Expo this December.
" We're a very diverse community, and we are a very family-friendly community," says Amber Patterson, City of Mesquite Convention and Visitors Bureau marketing coordinator. "We know that your dog is a part of your family. Just because your dog has four legs doesn't mean they're not your children...we want your pet to be along for the ride too."
A Place to Stay
Assistant general manager of TownePlace Suites Conner Reyer knows what it's like to work at his computer while a guest's dog takes a nap in his lap. Towneplace Suites is a unique hotel experience in that dogs are allowed to check-in and share a bed with their family members just as they do at home.
The hotel has no weight limit, so even the biggest of fur babies are welcome. But there is a two pet limit per room. Guests are also required to pay a $100 one time pet fee, regardless of the length of stay, for cleaning after checkout.
Reyer says the hotel's pet - friendly policy brings travelers to the hotel for short visits, but it's also a haven for those who have been displaced by natural disasters and have nowhere else to turn.
"Occasionally, we have business travelers that like to travel with their pets or families that are relocating from the city and just passing through," he says. "However, the majority are from families that are displaced on insurance claims. We have partnerships with a variety of housing agencies that we work with directly. Those agencies work with the insurance adjusters to provide housing for the family."
For those who don't have insurance coverage that will pay for the hotel stay, the hotel will occasionally offer discounted rates to those affected by disasters.
Reyer says the average stay at the TownePlace Suites is 37 nights, and for those displaced by disasters, it could be up to 6 months. However, pets won't mind. The hotel boasts an outdoor area where pets and their owners can relax or play. Hotel staff has also been known to dish out a treat or two to a furry guest.
"At our hotels, we welcome all animals with lots of love and treats, "Reyer says. "Being cooped up in the room all day can be stressful on the dogs, so we've been known to take dogs out to go to the bathroom with the guest's permission, or sometimes they have hung out with myself in the back office while I work. "
Events that will make your tail wag.
Mesquite offers many opportunities for residents and visitors to have fun with their pets. This winter, the city will host Unleashed Pas' Deck the Paws Pet Expo from Dec. 14 - 15. The two - day event offers holiday shopping for pets and pet lovers, photos with Santa that benefit charity, and a Picasso Paw Art Zone where your fur baby can create their work of art (also for charity).
The expo costs $10 for pets and their owners to attend, buts its worth every penny.
The city also hosts Doggy Splash Day annually in August, promising to be a splashingly good time.
Five dollars will allow one pet and their owner entry in tot he even where dogs have access to the wading pool, lap pool, one-meter diving board and can participate in various contests - including a pet swimsuit contest, pet, and owner look-a - like contest, dog paddle race, and a diving contest.
What sets this event apart from splash days put on by other cities is that owners are allowed to swim with their dogs if they want.
Saving Pet Lives
Mesquite wouldn't be a dog - friendly city if they weren't actively working toward reuniting pets with their owners, helping homeless pets find new homes, and decreasing the shelter's euthanasia rates - all of which they are actively doing.
"We have seen a dramatic over the years," says Jeanne Saaddi, manager of animal services for Mesquite. "We have been at 90% or above save rate for two years now. We have accomplished this by analyzing the projected space needed every day, establishing better transparency and communications with our rescue partners and passionate networkers, and increasing awareness of the pets at your shelter through social media and adoption events."
The city's animal shelter contains 54 dog kennels and 35 cat kennels. At any one time, the shelter houses around 60 - 70 dogs and 50 cats. Through a partnership with Town East Animal Hospital, conveniently located next door, animals at the shelter can receive vaccinations, veterinary care for illness or injuries, and sterilizations for when they find their new parents.
A partnership with PetHealth, Inc. also allows pet adopters to receive a free 30 days of pet insurance and coupons from PetCo.
Mesquite currently has 1,259 dogs registered with the city, but according to statistical data shelter staff estimate, there could be as many as 28, 781 dogs living in Texas' dog-friendly city.
"Mesquite Animal Services recently completed a five - year strategic plan that is focused heavily on increasing our save rate, even more, analyzing our capacity needs for future city growth and increasing our community outreach efforts to not only encourage adoption from MAS but start educating the public about responsible pet ownership and resource available to help our residents with their pets, so they don't end up at the shelter," Saadi says.
"We know that we need to find some solutions to both increase our outcomes and reduce our intake to keep saving as many lives as possible for Mesquite pets."
Patterson says Mesquite is working toward incorporating dogs into more events around the city and actively encouraging business owners to include dogs by creating outdoor spaces where owners and their pets can interact. The city is also working on new dog-friendly events, but can't share any details at this time. The possibilities are endless, and for now, the town is keeping one paw in front of the other paving the way for aa dog- friendly future.
Read the Full Article at Texas Dog Magazine