Rescued dogs, mutts included, could strut with pride if New York makes them the state dog.
New York state legislators are teaming up to take a major stand for shelter dogs: In April, they introduced a bill designating “the rescue dog” as the official New York state dog. And it’s a bipartisan effort. State Assemblyman Micah Kellner, a Democrat from Manhattan’s Upper East Side, is co-sponsoring the bill with fellow Manhattanite and Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal along with Rochester Republican Joseph Robach, a state senator.
A spokesman for Kellner told The New York Times, “He’s a huge advocate for animals in need.” He doesn’t own a dog at the moment, but has fostered shelter pups in the past. Robach owns three shelter dogs.
If the bill passes, New York will be the 12th state in the nation to name an official state dog. Most state dogs have an obvious local connection, such as Alaska and its Malamute or the New England-bred Chinook, state dog of New Hampshire. Adopting the rescue dog as a canine ambassador will be more of a statement.
It’s appropriate, though, considering New York’s history as a haven for immigrants looking for a new home and a new life. And, as Kellner pointed out in a press conference, New Yorkers are a tough, scrappy lot, much like rescue pups.
There’s no word yet on when it’ll be put to a vote. In the meantime, New Yorkers can voice their support for the measure by contacting their local representatives in the statehouse. Track the bill: SO4781, AO6681.
Kathleen St. John is a freelance writer for target The Denver Post and The Onion's A.V. Club, and a lifelong dog lover. She lives in Denver, Colo., with her husband, John, and her dog, Daisy, who's a mix of just about everything. avclub.com