It’s official! At an event at the Humane Animal Partners in Wilmington, Delaware, Gov. John Carney signed Senate Bill 37, designating rescue dogs as the official state dog of Delaware, while replacing the golden retriever in the process.
The bill, which was introduced in January by Senator Jack Walsh, was approved with a wide majority by the state’s Legislative Assembly and Senate.
“Delaware animal shelters take in thousands of pets each year, all of whom are waiting to find their forever home,” said Sen. Walsh. “Senate Bill 37 reaffirms the General Assembly’s support for animal welfare and our commitment to ensuring that every rescued pet will be cared for, loved, and protected against abuse.”
Soon afterward on Twitter, Carney noted in a tweet, “From my house to the White House, we’re huge proponents of rescue dogs in Delaware. Today I signed Senate Bill 37, designating rescue dogs as the official state dog in Delaware.”
“We are thrilled to see SB 37 become law and make Delaware history,” added Humane Animal Partners‘ Chief Executive Officer, Patrick Carroll. “We know this recognition will help save rescue animals.”
Saving Shelter Pets
Humane Animal Partners rescues more than 4,000 dogs annually. It’s also the organization that President Biden and his family adopted their dog, Major, from. The german shepherd is the first shelter dog to live in the White House. Three days before the president’s inauguration, Humane Animal Partners held their own “indoguration” for Major in a virtual ceremony that was viewed by more than 7,400 people and featured a performance by Josh Groban.
Delaware now joins five other states in recognizing shelter or rescue animals as their state’s domestic pet representative. In 2013, Colorado listed rescue dogs and cats as its state pet, followed by Tennessee in 2014. California soon followed suit by naming shelter animals as their state pet in 2015 due to the number of them that turn up each year at rescues. The hope was to influence more adoptions.
In 2017, Illinois designated shelter pets as the state pet as well, while in 2018, Georgia decided on “adoptable dogs” as its state rep. As more states ban pet stores in order to reduce and eventually eliminate puppy mills, some of them might eventually move to appointing rescue animals as their furry state reps as well.
Remember, shelter pets come in all shapes, sizes, breeds, and species. If you’d like to welcome a companion animal into your home, please adopt, don’t shop.