The awards recognise and reward businesses and places that go the extra mile to benefit UK’s 9.4 million dogs and their owners.
The town has been working all year on a variety of pet friendly projects, aiming to bring pets and people together. Melton Mowbray planned this activity in response to a report published in January revealing that pets bring a range of economic, health and social benefits.
Councillor Margaret Glancy, Chair of Town Area Committee of Melton Borough Council said: “Here in Melton Mowbray we’re a town of pet lovers – so to receive the news that we are officially the most dog friendly town in the country is just fantastic.
“We are already famous for pork pies and stilton cheese, and now we can be famous for being pet friendly too! This has been a community driven campaign from the start and I am very proud of all our local Meltonians who have got behind it.”
The animal-loving town has launched multiple initiatives, including The Melton PAW-Some Scheme which identifies local pet-friendly businesses. It offers pet activity trails in Melton Country Park and advice for pet owners with The Melton Mowbray Pet School.
Over the course of the campaign, Melton Borough Council has worked with local business Mars Petcare (who have been making pet food in the town for almost 70 years) to unveil a range of pet-friendly initiatives that have focussed on encouraging pet friendly tourism, improving the mental and physical health of the town through pets, showing how pets can build stronger communities and helping pet owners to care for their pets in the best way.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, added, “We are delighted to present Melton Mowbray with an award for the best dog friendly town in the UK. Dog owners and their pets are a key part of any community and the Leicestershire town has clearly recognised this by going above and beyond for their canine citizens.
“We hope that other towns will now follow their example and benefit from the many rewards a dog-friendly attitude can bring.”
Deri Watkins, Managing Director of Mars Petcare UK, which has supported the year-long campaign, said: “Pets make our lives better so we’re thrilled to have helped Melton Mowbray become a place where pets can thrive – making residents happier and healthier as a result.
“We now want to encourage other communities and towns to do the same and enjoy the positive effects that a campaign like this can have on the local community.”