Rescue dogs (and cats) are wagging their tails proudly today as a new bill just passed in their honor. As of Monday May 13, 2013 Colorado’s State pet is the animals of shelters and rescues. The bill was introduced by young students of the Peakview School in Walsenburg, Colorado. Elementary and Middle school students were encouraged to take part in the legislative process of passing a bill. And these kids didn’t just learn about the process from their classroom, they participated in the courtroom, as well.
During the discussion regarding the bill dogs barked, leashes tangled, and children were dressed as dalmations. DenverPost.com shows a picture of Sen. Andy Kerr, D-Lakewood speaking to the Senate with his black lab and son by his side. His son is dressed as a dalmation, complete with a polka dot shirt and black circles drawn on his face.
Also, in the courtroom were other students. A 14 year old from Peakview Middle School declared, “It’s important to honor the voice of the voiceless.” Speaking up on behalf of shelter and rescue dogs is “a matter of life and death” for millions of dogs and cats, he said. “And you can save a lot of money compared to getting them from a pet store.” Pet industry companies did not agree with the language or the general terms in the bill. Each breed committee wanted to claim the state pet title. A representative from the Norfolk Terrier Club stated, “When a puppy owner went to Iraq, we took care of the puppy.”
In addition to breed arguments, there were other types of dogs considered. Additional options included Military Dogs, Law Enforcement Dogs, Service Dogs, or Cadaver Dogs. There are tweleve other states with State Pets declared. Colorado is the only state without a breed specification. Colorado residents will tell you finding a traditional pet store that sells pure breed pets is far and few in between. Dog rescues abound by the dozen in Colorado, from Pugs to Huskies and everything in between.
Accompanied by his own resuce dog Sky, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed the bill into law.