Ohio Makes Shelter Animals Their 'Official' Pet

ohio shelter dog

Did you know that each state has its own official state pet? Most states choose specific breeds as their state mascots. However, one state decided to go against the status quo.

According to Senate Bill 86, Ohio is one of the first states to make shelter animals its official pet. They followed Illinois, Colorado, California, and Georgia's example.

The Humane Society supports this decision. They believe that it shines a light on shelter animals and the challenges they face. After all, they understand their plight more than most.

There are over 13,000 animal shelters across the United States. A staggering 6 million pets are taken in by these shelters each year. About half of them will get adopted, but just under a third of those souls are euthanized. Thankfully, euthanization numbers have been decreasing since 2011. However, the numbers are still too high.

ohio shelter dog

Why are so many pets stuck in shelters? Let's take a look at a couple of potential causes.

  1. Many people believe that purebreds are healthier.
  1. Some even go as far as using their "pure" blood dogs and cats as status symbols.
  1. People often think pets make great gifts, but they're commonly given on impulse. When the novelty wears off, these gift-wrapped pets often end up homeless.
  1. Pet owners don't always spay or neuter their pets. Consequently, they run off and mate with other animals. This causes the stray animal population to rise.

In spite of popular opinion, purebred dogs and cats are not necessarily healthier. Many of them suffer from major health issues that are breed-specific. Plus, inbreeding and over breeding are common among some of the most popular breeds.

In a recent study, The Institute of Canine Biology found that purebred dogs have a 42 percent greater chance of suffering from a genetic disorder than mixed breeds do.

Next, using pets as status symbols dates back hundreds of years. Many breeds have suffered for it. This is because dogs were often bred for looks and not function. As a result, these animals were and continue to be treated like products instead of living beings.

Show dogs are a perfect example. Some pet owners believe that their dog is only as good as its papers. This couldn't be further from the truth. Owning and loving a pet is so much more than that.

Lastly, giving a pet as a gift is exciting, but it's a major decision. Adopting a pet is a commitment that should not be taken lightly.

This isn't to say that purebreds are lesser animals. However, it's important to raise our awareness of the plight that shelter animals face. They are often abandoned, and some are even born into shelter life. While most shelters do their best to provide a safe, clean, and loving space for these animals, it's not the same as a real home.

Shelter pets make wonderful furry family members. Each one is unique, and they are usually extremely grateful to be adopted.

Thanks to states like Ohio, shelter animals are getting more exposure than ever. Hopefully, this idea will keep spreading.

Are you thinking of adopting a pet? It's a big decision, but if you're ready, there are millions of shelter animals waiting for people just like you to come into their lives. Remember to adopt before you shop. Make sure to check out our rescue apparel - 25% of proceeds are donated to animal shelters and rescues!

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Previous Post

  • Aaron Seminoff
Comments 3
  • Kirstin G Robertson
    Kirstin G Robertson

    Pretty awesome article about animals…they deserve the best of lives. Amen!!!

  • Stephanie Valletti
    Stephanie Valletti

    Way to go Ohio! More states should follow your lead!

  • Karen'
    Karen'

    This is awesome, more states need to follow! I wish that the “breeder” would understand that it is alot of their beloved pups that end up in the shelters as well. We just need more verterinarians to require spay/neutering with ANY routine treatments to try to gain a little control of the dog/cat over population. Too many are dying cruel deaths in shelters. Also need to look at more prison help to train dogs for therapy, police, service dogs, there are so many ways that dogs can help inmates and inmates can help dogs nationwide.

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