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| Animals |

Miami Ranked the Best City to Be a Dog in the U.S.

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On the surface, dogs don't need much in life: food, water, shelter, the occasional scratch behind the ear. But ask any canine companion, and they'll tell you that some places are better than others. (They'll tell you this in barks, whines, and nuzzles; it's up to you to translate.)

And when it comes to dog-friendly cities, Miami tops the list. The social media site MyLife.com recently ranked Miami as the #1 best city to be a dog.

The study took into account a number of factors that affect a dog's life: number of pet supply shops, veterinarians, and dog parks per capita; number of sunny days per year; and a city's "walk score," or how easy it is for people to stroll around. According to the author of the post, a pup named Porkchop (no, really), here's what set Miami apart from the rest:

I love the idea of living somewhere nice and tropical. I wouldn't even need sunscreen. In looking beyond the sand and palm trees, the city proved to care about us canine creatures. They ranked first in pet stores per capita, and tenth in the walk score category.

Orlando ranked at a solid number five, for its second-place rankings in the pet stores and veterinarians categories. Tampa also represents Florida on the list, with the third most pet stores and fifth most vets.

It's hard to argue that most dogs have it pretty great here in Miami, where the dog owner community makes up a sizable portion of the population; local legislation, like North Miami Beach's recently passed ban on stores selling commercially bred pets, reflects their views.

But there is one area of research that might have knocked Miami from its number one spot: overcrowding at its shelters, leading to increased kill rates. Last year, Miami-Dade Animal Services shelters reported kill rates of 20 percent and higher.

So yeah, it's great to be a dog in Miami — as long as you're a dog who has a person.

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