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Is your business pet-friendly? Apply for Mayor Kriseman’s new program

Megan Holmes



Earlier this year, the City of St. Petersburg announced St. Pete PAWS, an initiative to make the city more pet-friendly. Now, Mayor Rick Kriseman has launched the Mayor’s Pet Friendly Business Program. Businesses can apply for the program now, and will receive a listing on the City’s pet-friendly map, a window decal, social media collateral and additional informational resources about being a pet-friendly business.

According to the application, to receive the one-year certification as a Pet Friendly Certified Business, businesses are required to pay $25 and commit to the following:

  • Ensure that your staff completes a pet handling training session on basic pet handling skills when welcoming pets. This must be completed within 60-90 days of this application.
  • Confirm that the business’s insurance coverage includes welcoming pets.
  • Display pet-friendly guidelines that include pet behavior expectations, owner responsibility assumptions and any other necessary guidelines.
  • Make safety a priority. Premises will be kept secure and well-lit to protect pets and people.
  • Provide hydration, relief area access (which can be inside or outside your business) and supplies using recyclable or compostable materials when possible.
  • Ensure all pet-friendly areas are kept at comfortable temperatures year-round.
  • Maintain high standards of cleanliness and maintenance for all food and water bowls, products, services and solutions offered for pets. Clean and maintain relief areas waste stations regularly.
  • Confirm that the business’s emergency plan includes keeping pets safe and secure.
  • Show concern for all guests. As much as possible your business should designate pet-friendly and pet-free zones to accommodate other guests with allergies or sensitivities to pets.
  • Promote sustainability. In support of the City’s green initiatives, businesses will seek solutions that are good for pets, people and the planet. An example is use of eco-friendly waste bags.
  • Strive to be breed and size restriction-free, as environment and space will allow.
  • Proudly promote pet-friendliness in your business.
  • Understand that St. Pete PAWS will do an initial inspection of businesses signing up for this certification and periodic visits to ensure ongoing compliance.
  • Understand that designation as a Mayor’s Pet Friendly Business is a one-year certification through March 31. Application and application fee will need to be submitted each year to maintain the Mayor’s Pet Friendly Business certification.
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