The state of Ohio has named shelter pets as their official state pet in order to raise awareness, and hopefully adoptions.
We’re living in a constant state of emergency. No, we’re not talking about terrorism, nuclear war, or global climate change. We’re talking about pet adoption, or more accurately, the distinct LACK of pet adoption.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), 6.5 million pets enter adoption centers every year. Of those, 3.2 million are adopted, while 1.5 million are euthanized. That means every one in three adorable dogs, cats, and other critters are killed without ever find their furever home.
It’s enough to bring a tear to your eye.
Eagle-eyed readers will note that this doesn’t quite add up to 6.5 million, and we’re assuming that the remaining 1.8 million pets are continuously adopted and then sent back to the shelter, or are otherwise taken for some nefarious industrial purpose.
No matter how you slice it, these numbers are a huge problem. You can help by spaying or neutering your pet, but you can also help by adopting one. That’s why Ohio has renamed their state pet to be “Shelter Pets” in order to raise awareness of the problem and spur more people to adopt rather than buy.
The change in designation was signed into law last week when Senate Bill 66 passed the state legislature. In addition to declaring shelter pets as the new official state pet, it also includes some provisions to designate historical sites and other stuff that we don’t really care about.
GOOD NEWS! 🎉— The Humane Society of the United States (@HumaneSociety) March 20, 2019
Shelter pets officially become Ohio's state pet today! This will help raise public awareness for shelter animals & shelters throughout Ohio which are full of wonderful, family-ready pets. Visit your local shelter or @shelterpets today! https://t.co/OVnHCfLB1F pic.twitter.com/CPdxJwWf4W
The US Humane Society was particularly happy with the bill’s passage. "This designation will help raise public awareness for shelter animals and the many shelters throughout Ohio which are full of wonderful, family-ready pets,” a Humane Society spokesperson told Cincinnati.com. “Animal shelters and rescues always have a great selection of pets looking for new homes.”
Colorado, California, Georgia, Illinois, and Tennessee have already designated shelter pets as the official state pet, and Texas and Oregon are considering similar measures.
If you are looking to get a pet, DO NOT BUY. Instead, adopt one from a local shelter, or use The Shelter Pet Project to help find your ideal pet. The internet is a wonderful tool to help you connect to precisely the pet you want in your home.