Birmingham residents adore their furry friends

Birmingham residents adore their furry friends
Some of the cute pet faces at Do Dah Day in Birmingham. (Photo courtesy of Lee Little)

We love our pets.

But in Birmingham, that sentiment is especially heartfelt according to one study. A recent survey by WalletHub put the Magic City behind Orlando, Fla., as the pet-friendliest city in the country.

The survey compared pet-related data on each community, including information about pet owners and the quality of life their pets enjoy.

One event that has helped put Birmingham on the map for pet prestige is Do Dah Day, an animal-loving celebration that has been an annual happening since 1979. It’s a glorious display of pampered pets wearing their cutest costumes, along with food, music and family activities.

But the volunteer-driven parade and block party, held in Birmingham’s historic Highland Parks, also has a purpose.

“I think the history of Do Dah Day is a testament to that distinction,” said Kevin Burke, Do Dah Day board president. He noted that Do Dah Day is not only Birmingham’s oldest ongoing outdoor festival, but that proceeds from the event benefit local animal shelters. To date, the event has raised over $1.5 million.

“We are thrilled to hear that Birmingham is considered one of the “pet-friendliest cities” in the U.S.,” Burke added.

The WalletHub survey looked at pet-care provider rates and number of pet businesses in communities.

One of those businesses is Dog Days of Birmingham, a pet boarding and daycare facility located in the center of downtown. It houses an average of 50 animals per day.

In this video, owner Jimmy Johnson talks about a concept his doggie daycare helped pioneer.

Jimmy Johnson of Dog Days of Birmingham talks unique pet boarding options from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

Burke says the WalletHub study simply confirms what he has long understood: there’s something “magical” about the Magic City and its love for pets.

“We have long acknowledged that Birmingham is a special place, and the world is beginning to notice this – not only for people but for our four legged companions, too.”

Most pet-friendly cities:

  • Orlando, Fla.
  • Birmingham, Ala.
  • Tampa, Fla.
  • Lexington, Ky.
  • Scottsdale, Ariz.
  • Reno, Nev.
  • Colorado Springs, Colo.
  • Cincinnati
  • Las Vegas.
  • St. Louis

Least pet-friendly cities:

  • Jersey City, N.J.
  •  Chicago
  • Los Angeles
  • Newark, N.J.
  •  Philadelphia
  •  Detroit
  •  Boston
  • Santa Ana, Calif.
  • New York

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