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Experts rank pet-friendly cities


Cleveland - Miami's tropical locale is a hot spot for tourists, but when it comes to overall pet health it's a much chillier place according to consortium ranking "pet-friendly" cities.

Cleveland - Miami's tropical locale is a hot spot for tourists,but when it comes to overall pet health it's a much chillier place accordingto consortium ranking "pet-friendly cities".

The Purina Pet Institute's Healthy Pet 21 Consortium, a think tank ofpet health and welfare leaders, has released the first list of the Pet HealthiestCities in the United States.

Of the 50 metropolitan markets ranked, Denver is rated the healthiestcity for pets, namely because of its high veterinarian-to-pet ratio as wellas its 47 American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) accredited hospitalsand 119 AAHA-affiliated veterinary professionals.

Miami bottoms out at number 50, ranked as the worst city for companionanimal health and welfare. Minneapolis, Columbus, Ohio, Philadelphia andSeattle ranked just behind Denver, in their pet health efforts.

To rank these cities, the consortium developed a list of 23 objectivecriteria in areas of canine/feline health, legislation and services andthose standards were ranked according to importance in furthering pet health.The report was conducted in conjunction with demographic consultant BertSperling, who supplies and analyzes data for Money magazine's annual "BestPlaces to Live" feature.

Health criteria included the city's DVM-to-pet ratio, presence of affiliatedstaff at accredited veterinary hospitals, number of veterinary surgeons,access to emergency care and environmental factors such as watershed andair quality.

For the group's complete city ranking, visit http://www.purina.com/institute/healthy_cities.asp.

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