Shelter Animals Named the Official State Pet of Ohio

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PHOTO BY ALANA WHELAN
  • Photo by Alana Whelan
As of last week, new legislation has given more hope and exposure to animals in shelters across Ohio.

Just as every state has a state bird (Ohio's is the cardinal), some states have specifically recognized state pets. Ohio just joined that trend last week when Senate Bill 86 officially nominated shelter animals as the official state pet of Ohio.



While the overall bill was put in place to declare historical sites and to assign other specific labels, the state pet part of the bill intends to raise public awareness of all the shelter animals in Ohio in need of loving homes.

The Humane Society of the United States was ecstatic about the bill's passing, optimistic that this kind of legislation, along with their Shelter Pet Project,
will help to persuade perspective adopters to look at shelters when searching for a new animal companion.



A few states have already made shelter animals their state pet, including Colorado, California, Illinois, Tennessee and Georgia. Currently, Texas and Oregon are considering comparable resolutions.

Shelter animals are joining a long list of Ohio's iconic symbols, which include the bullfrog as the state frog, tomato juice as the state beverage and the buckeye tree as the state tree.

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