Back in April, the city of Annapolis finished second to Carmel, California in our Best City for Pet Travelers tournament. While they understood the reason for the defeat, the loss still stung for Annapolis’ supporters. One of those people decided to take her disappointment and use it as motivation to make things better. Rather than wait around until January for the powers-that-be to do what’s right, Kim Teter launched a campaign to make her city more pet friendly than ever before. Today I’m delighted to turn the blog over to her, so she can tell you about the difference she’s making in Annapolis.
Hello GoPetFriendly readers! If you recall back in March this blog ran a tournament to find the Best City for Pet Travelers in North America. Carmel and Annapolis fought hard for the top spot in the last days of the competition. However – thanks to the Maryland legislature’s inaction on the Dog Bite Legislation, or the Pit Bull Bill – the readers voted Annapolis out in the last few hours.
As a dog lover, pit bull owner, SPCA employee, and Annapolis area resident, I was also outraged with my legislators. I, too, voted against Annapolis in the heat of the moment. But then, when things cooled down, I realized I had something a lot of others who were just as angry did not … the power to change things! That is how the Pet Friendly Annapolis Campaign was born.
Annapolis has always been a pet friendly town. Dogs are welcome in stores, on patios at restaurants, and at the local banks. The county SPCA is even located in Annapolis! But how could we let everyone know we are a pet friendly city? How could we remind people that our state lawmakers just work here, they’re not representative of this dog-loving town? We decided to show the love with the Pet Friendly Annapolis store decals:
The SPCA of Anne Arundel County is providing these these signs to pet friendly businesses so locals and visitors will know right away that their dogs are welcome. The campaign just launched on July 1st and we had over 30 businesses contact us to become Pet Friendly Partners, with more joining every day!
To make change, you need the attention of the people holding the reins. So, our big question was, “How can we show our legislators that dogs are part of our families, even the pit bulls?” We decided to take over the city!
In July, Annapolis is “Going to the Dogs.” The SPCA has organized nine dog friendly events throughout the city this month. We have met with city officials and most of our legislators and the idea has been embraced with open arms. We couldn’t be more excited! Bringing businesses, locals, and tourists together to say “My dog is my family and that means something!” will definitely get the lawmakers’ attention. And we’ll keep putting decals in every store year-round to continue to remind them that pets help drive our economy, too.
And that is how a second place finish can lead to a first place idea.
If you are near Annapolis this month, please join us for one of our Pet Friendly Events:
Thursday July 4 – Annapolis 4th of July Parade. Look for SPCA dogs in the BMW’s! 6:30pm
Sunday July 7 – First Sunday Annapolis is going to the dogs! Look for our Waggin’ Tails mobile unit in the Stan & Joe’s parking lot! Special offers and giveaways! 12pm – 5pm
Sunday July 14 – Running of the Pit Bulls at Truxtun Park. Bring your pitties and your pittie supporters to this fun community day! 9am – 12p
Thursday July 18 – Dog Days of Summer Cruise with Watermark Cruises – City Dock Annapolis. Dock party at 5:30pm, launch at 6pm. For details and tickets visit www.cruisesonthebay.com
Saturday July 20 – Wild Birds Goes to the Dogs – Wild Birds Unlimited in Clock Tower Plaza. Meet some of our adoptable animals! 10am – 2pm
Saturday July 20 – Dogs Day at the Annapolis Towne Center. Visit our Waggin’ Tails mobile unit, get information from local pet businesses, and enjoy all the offerings from Towne Center Businesses! 12pm – 2pm
Thursday July 25 – Dogwood Acres & SPCA adoption speaker series at the SPCA. 6:30pm – 8pm
Thursday July 25 – Red Hot & Blue birthday event – all day at Red Hot & Blue.
Saturday July 27 – TD Bank Doggone Community Day – Annapolis location on Bestgate Road. Join local businesses for a fun morning with your pooch! 9am – 1pm
Kim Teter is the Program and Events Manager at the SPCA of Anne Arundel County located in Annapolis, MD. You can learn about this program and many others by visiting www.aacspca.org
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