Ohioans can now welcome the official pet into their family by adopting a protection dog or cat. To help raise awareness about animal adoption, the state of Ohio has designated guardian animals as their pets. The legislation was formally approved by the Ohio Senate in March.
Ohio isn’t the first country to pass such laws promoting animal adoption. Colorado, California, Georgia, Illinois, and Tennessee have all made pets their official pets, and Texas and Oregon are currently considering similar measures, according to the United States Humane Society (HSUS).
“This designation will help raise public awareness of animal sanctuaries and the many animal shelters across Ohio that are full of wonderful, family-friendly pets,” the organization said in a statement. “Shelters and rescue workers always have a large selection of animals looking for a new home.”
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, approximately 6.5 million pets are sent to shelters across the country each year. Of these animals, approximately 1.5 million are euthanized and 3.5 million are adopted.
The Humane Society encourages those looking to adopt a dog or cat to visit the Shelter Pet Project website. The ASPCA also provides links to local emergency shelters on its website.