Melton Borough Council

Positively Pawsome

Published Tuesday, 24th October 2017 Mayor walking dog

Melton Mowbray is voted UK's top town for dogs !


The Dog Friendly Awards – run in partnership with the Kennel Club - has named Melton the most dog friendly in the UK - after a public vote saw thousands pledge support for the town

The town has been working hard all year to become more pet friendly because of the amazing benefits pets bring to our lives 

Melton Mowbray is officially top dog, as this weekend it has been named the most dog friendly town in the UK by the Dog Friendly Awards. Run by Dog Friendly and the Kennel Club, the awards recognise and reward businesses and places that go the extra mile for the benefit of the UK’s 9.4 million dogs and their owners. Melton Mowbray won top town for dogs in a public vote that saw thousands cast their ballot for the town. 

The town has been working all year on a variety of pet friendly projects, transforming the lives of its residents by bringing pets and people together. Far from being barking mad, 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.” 

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 furry friends in the best way. From huge community dog walks to lessons on caring for all our furry friends, 2017 has been all about pets in Melton with projects including: 

•    The Melton PAW-Some Scheme – Helping local pet owners find out which local businesses are pet-friendly - or “PAW-Some”. This scheme has encouraged local businesses to become pet friendly or register that they are already pet friendly through this scheme so that local pet owners can easily find their pet friendly businesses. So far Melton Mowbray has seen 14 new businesses sign up to this scheme and receive the official PAW-print stickers. We also created a new guide that lists why being pet friendly is good for business as well as a few handy hints and tops on how to go about becoming pet friendly. 

•    Melton Country Park - Melton Country Park has become even more pet friendly with the creation of new exciting activity trails for both pets and owners to enjoy and increase their physical activity. We celebrated the opening in July with the Melton and Surrounding Villages Dog Walking Group and a huge community dog walk. 

•    The Melton Mowbray Pet School – Giving local pet owners expert advice on how to keep their pets happy and healthy through evening seminars which have focused on topics including how to treat your pet responsibly so that it is healthy and fun for both you and your pet, how best to exercise your dog and you! And how best to feed your pet from a puppy or kitten through till old age. These seminars have been hosted by various experts at Waltham and Mars Petcare including Sandra McCune, Scientific Leader for Human-Animal Interaction at the WALTHAM Centre.

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.” 

Sir Alan Duncan is MP for Rutland and Melton and an avid dog lover who has campaigned for pets to be allowed in Parliament and for businesses in general to be more pet friendly. With his beloved dog Noodle he was even the proud winner of Westminster Dog of the Year in 2013. 

Sir Alan commented: “Campaigns like the Pet Friendly Towns campaign are such important community led initiatives to help promote the benefits that pets have to our health and society as well as responsible pet ownership. By engaging the community, Melton Borough Council and Mars Petcare have done a fantastic job in bringing to live the pet friendly aspects of this town that already exist. I am delighted by the result and what the town has achieved.”

7 ways pets make our lives better 

1.    Pets are good for our health
•    Research shows that pet owners experience a significant reduction in minor health problems versus non-pet owners.  
•    A study in 2002 showed that people with a dog or a cat had lower resting heart rates and blood pressure measures at the beginning of an experiment than those without a pet. 
•    Plus, 94 per cent of heart patients with a dog or cat survive heart attacks, compared with 72 per cent without a dog or cat.

2.    Pet owners are happier
•    Cat owners have fewer bad moods than those who don’t have pets.  
•    Pet ownership is associated with lower levels of depression following spousal bereavement.  

3.    Pets help to reduce loneliness – and help us to make friends
•    Reduced levels of loneliness and improved mental functioning are found in older adults when they have contact with dogs.  
•    Pets act as social catalysts providing opportunities for greater social interaction in communities.  

4.    Pets are great for kids
•    In the classroom, pets help children to pay greater attention to their teachers.    
•    Children are less likely to suffer allergies, asthma, or eczema if they are exposed to pets at an early age.  
•    Children get more satisfaction from relationships with their pets than with their brothers or sisters  and growing up with a pet can bring social, emotional and educational benefit to children and adolescents. 

5.    Pets keep us fit
•    Dog ownership is associated with greater physical activity and recreational walking for owners. 

6.    Pets can help the most vulnerable in society 
•    Animal-based therapy is becoming popular in residential care homes because stroking a pet has been shown to decrease agitated behaviours and increase social interaction in patients with dementia. 
•    Work done by assistance dogs provides enhanced independent living as well as limiting risks and injury and offering greater opportunity to take part in events. 

7.    Pets are great for business
•    Those who own dogs are almost twice as likely to regularly visit local shops and businesses than those who do not own a dog. If these businesses allow dogs inside this is likely to increase further.  
•    72% of dog-owners said they would holiday in the UK more frequently if there were more options for their dog.   
•    Dog owners spend 16% more on eating out and drinking in pubs than cat or non-pet owners.  

Join the conversation on Twitter #PetsForGood 


Notes to Editors:

For more information, please contact: 
0203 3003 6332

About Mars Petcare

Mars Petcare has a portfolio of some of the UK’s best-loved petcare brands, such as Pedigree®, Whiskas® Cesar®, Sheba®, Royal Canin® and James Wellbeloved®. 
We have been manufacturing pet care products in the UK for 80 years and currently have over 1,000 employees (whom we call Associates) across our UK sites in Melton Mowbray, Waltham-on-the-Wolds, Birstall, Yorkshire and Castle Carey, Somerset. 
Our vision is to ‘Make a Better World for Pets™’. This is based on our belief that pets make our lives better, which is why they’re at the beating heart of our business. Introducing them into our offices plays an important role in helping bring this vision to life. 

About Mars, Incorporated

In 1911, Frank C. Mars made the first Mars candies in his Tacoma, Washington kitchen and established Mars’ first roots as a confectionery company.  In the 1920s, Forrest E. Mars, Sr. joined his father in business and together they launched the MILKY WAY® bar. In 1932, Forrest, Sr. moved to the United Kingdom with a dream of building a business based on the objective of creating “mutuality of benefits for all stakeholders” – this objective serves as the foundation of Mars, Incorporated today. Based in McLean, Virginia, Mars has net sales of more than $33 billion, six business segments including Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks, Symbioscience, and more than 75,000 Associates worldwide that are putting its Principles into action to make a difference for people and the planet through its performance.


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