KETTERING, Ohio (WDTN) – Animal advocates are praising a move by legislators, designating shelter animals as Ohio’s official state pet.
The measure took effect March 20th as part of a larger act creating memorial highways, historical sites and other special designations.
“I hope it just helps communicate how much of a need there is for dogs, cats and other types of animals to find homes, and that people will consider looking in a shelter when they’re looking for a pet,” said Jessie Sullivan, the director of adoptions and placement at SICSA Pet Adoption Center.
Sullivan said despite negative stereotypes, there are benefits to adopting a pet from a shelter.
“Most of the time these are great animals who are going to make great family pets,” she said.
She explained many are at least partially trained and socialized, and at places like SICSA, they come spayed or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped.
The official state pet is added to a long list of Ohio symbols, including the cardinal as the state bird, the ladybug as the state insect and the tomato as the official state fruit.
Legislators say the official state pet is intended to raise public awareness for shelter animals.
“(People should) make that their first choice,” Sullivan said. “Head to the shelter, see if there’s a good fit.”
You can learn more about SICSA’s available pets and find other ways to support the organization by clicking here.