Eleven states already have official state dogs, and now New York wants one, too.
But unlike the other official dogs, New York’s state pooch may be a rescue mutt.
According to the New York Times, Assemblyman Micah Kellner, a Democrat from the Upper East Side, and State Senator Joseph E. Robach, a Republican who represents Rochester, introduced legislation this week to add an official state dog to go along with the state’s official insect (ladybug) and fish (brook trout).
Kellner told CBS New York, “The reason why it’s the rescue dog is because the rescue dog fits with New York so perfectly,” Kellner said. “New Yorkers are scrappy just like rescue dogs, we often both have a bone to pick and a lot of us are mutts.”
A spokesman for Kellner told the New York Times that the assemblyman is “a huge advocate for animals in need.” A homeless dog that had been rescued will be selected as the state dog “for the honor to symbolize the need for people to adopt pets from animal shelters and animal protection groups,” the spokesman said.
Kellner has been a foster dad to several dogs. When he and Robach announced their proposed legislation at city hall on Thursday, they were joined by Sarge Wolf-Stringer, a dog who was rescued two years ago after being abused for 14 years. Sarge is now a certified therapy dog who works with seniors and hospital patients.
Kellner and Robach hope their proposal will encourage the adoption of the more than 12,000 dogs in New York City shelters.
“Ninety percent of these dogs are healthy, treatable and just in need of a loving home,” Kellner told CBS New York. “They’re the most loyal pets you can have. It’s time that we throw these dogs a bone.”
If the legislation passes, New York will join these states that already have official dogs:
Alaska – Alaskan Malamute
Louisiana – Catahoula Leopard Dog
Maryland – Chesapeake Bay Retriever
Massachusetts – Boston Terrier
New Hampshire – Chinook
Plott Hound – North Carolina
Pennsylvania – Great Dane
South Carolina – Boykin Spaniel
Texas – Blue Lacy
Virginia – American Foxhound
Wisconsin – American Water Spaniel