Milwaukee Needs To Start Treating Its Best Friends a Little Better

The city has been dubbed the worst in the country for our canine companions.

Maybe you’ve already heard the news. The company Honest Paws released a study ranking the ten best American cities for dogs, as well as the 10 worst. And Milwaukee came in dead-last, the worst of the worst.

A little research shows that part of the reason Milwaukee scored so poorly was because Honest Paws seemed to think that there were only three veterinarians located in the city, which isn’t even close to being true. So the survey results aren’t entirely trustworthy. 

But still. I can’t say that I’m all that surprised to hear that dogs here have it ruffer (er, rougher) than they do in most other cities. 


Every winter, walking my dog here becomes a literal slog through brown, sludgy snow. The underside of his white coat turns brown (or gray, or black) as he struggles to clear frozen snow crags at least two feet tall. And while city officials have been surprisingly open to the idea of salting our roads with literal cheese, they seem far less receptive to the idea of using a less corrosive type of rock salt that would be gentler on our pups’ paws.

Also, while I love each of the dog parks here I’ve visited, I wish there were more than three of them open within city limits. I can’t be the only one, either, who’s found it frustrating that the Bay View Dog Park has been closed for what feels like at least a year so that its turf can be upgraded.

I also know multiple dog owners who’ve struggled to find apartments in the city because many landlords impose strict breed restrictions on their tenants. And it’s sad to think that bigger dogs (especially Pitbulls and Rottweilers) are languishing in local animal shelters because of those breed-specific restrictions.

Maybe I wouldn’t be so upset if I hadn’t been cooped up inside with only my dog (and technically also my human fiancé) for company for the last ten months. But seeing this list has made me realize that Milwaukee really needs to do better by its furry friends. 



Lindsey Anderson covers culture for Milwaukee Magazine. Before joining the MilMag team she worked as an editor at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and wrote freelance articles for ArtSlant and Eater.