Shelter Animals Named Ohio’s Official State Pet

By The Bark, April 2019
Brian Biggerstaff, animal control officer for Knox County, Ohio holds Thelma. Chester (below) awaits his forever home.

Brian Biggerstaff, animal control officer for Knox County, Ohio holds Thelma. Chester (below) awaits his forever home.

Ohioans can now welcome the official state pet into their family by adopting a shelter dog or cat. An effort to raise awareness for animal adoption, the state of Ohio has designated shelter animals their state pet. The legislation was officially approved in March by the Ohio Senate.

Ohio is not the first to pass such legislation advocating for animal adoption; Colorado, California, Georgia, Illinois, and Tennessee have all made shelter pets their official state pet, and Texas and Oregon are currently considering similar measures, according to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

“This designation will help raise public awareness for shelter animals and the many shelters throughout Ohio which are full of wonderful, family-ready pets,” the organization said in a statement. “Animal shelters and rescues always have a great selection of animals looking for new homes.”

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, approximately 6.5 million companion animals are sent to shelters across the country each year. Of those animals, roughly 1.5 million will be euthanized and 3.5 million will be adopted.

The Humane Society encourages those looking to adopt a dog or a cat to visit the Shelter Pet Project’s website. The ASPCA also offers links to local shelters on its website.