A Bill introduced at Michigan's House would make shelter animals the official state pet.

It may seem frivolous with the many ongoing and very serious issues happening every day, but it means everything for animals sitting in shelters around our state.

Under House Bill 4723 (2021), shelter pets would become the official pet for the State of Michigan. The bill, introduced by six Democrats and a Republican in the State House, and mirrors a bill introduced in 2019 that never made it out of committee.

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The lead sponsor of the bill Rep. Padma Kuppa, who represents a portion of Oakland County, says that the status could provide a spotlight for animals in shelters throughout the state. That awareness, in turn, could lead to higher shelter adoption rates and fewer instances of euthanasia.

Just days ago, Oklahoma designated shelter animals as the state's official pet. Colorado, Ohio, Tennessee, and California have already given rescued and shelter animals similar status.

Approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter animal shelters in the United States every year. Of those, approximately 3.3 million are dogs and 3.2 million are cats, according to the ASPCA. Each year, approximately 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized (670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats). Approximately 3.2 million shelter animals are adopted each year (1.6 million dogs and 1.6 million cats). The good news is that the number of animals being adopted from shelters continues to rise while euthanasia rates continue to decline.

House Bill 4723 now moves to the Committee on Government Operations.

If you have ever adopted an animal from a shelter you know how incredibly grateful and loyal they are. Bills like this raise awareness and save lives.

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