Ranking: Arizona Among Most Pet-Friendly States

Thomas Unger | Lake Havasu City

Whether you're a dog lover, a cat fancier or the owner of some other pet, Arizona is a good place for you, according to a recent ranking of the most pet-friendly states in America.

SafeWise, a company that specializes in safety and home security, produced the ranking, saying it's based on 2015 data from the U.S. Department of Labor, the Animal Legal Defense Fund and online pet resources. It used criteria such as strictness of anti-cruelty laws, percentage of no-kill shelters and number of pet-friendly hotels and parks.

Arizona came in third in the ranking — behind Maine and Virginia, and ahead of Oklahoma and Colorado. Here's what SafeWise had to say about Arizona's pet-friendliness:

Arizona is truly for the outdoorsman/woman—and his/her nature-loving pets! With mild weather, hiking, biking, and more adventure, this place is great for pet-lovers based solely on that. It’s also the 10th best state in the country for its percentage of no-kill shelters and 11th for its strict anti-cruelty laws. Hilary Hager from Humane Society of America says that “A truly safe community ensures that pets can stay with the people who love them, even when they fall on hard times, and ensures that animals already living safely in the community remain undisturbed.” And based on the 629 pet-friendly businesses, over 900 pet-friendly hotels, and hundreds of hiking trails for animals, it seems like people here have taken her philosophies to heart.

As Arizona natives know, most of the state's hiking trails are open to dogs (and cats, if you're the kind of person who takes their cat on hikes). Among the only exceptions are the trails at national parks and monuments.

In contrast, Utah, Arizona's neighbor to the north, was 49th in the ranking — ahead of only Mississippi and New York. (There were 51 entries in the list, because the District of Columbia was included.)

What's your favorite thing to do with your pets in Arizona?

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