Local push to name shelter pets as the official North Carolina ‘State Animal’

Could shelter animals be the NC state pet?
Published: Jan. 28, 2022 at 5:43 AM EST
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PENDER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - North Carolina has a state bird, a state butterfly, even a state salamander, but the state does not have an overarching ‘state animal.’ However, there is a new push to change that.

Michael Raab works with Monty’s Home, a non-profit rescue group that gets dogs out of local shelters and into Pender Correctional for basic training by inmates. He is spearheading the effort to make shelter pets the new state animal.

Raab recently submitted the idea to state representative Carson Smith, who represents Pender County and parts of Columbus County.

He has yet to hear back, but he is still hopeful that his proposed legislation can gain some momentum as other states have taken similar action.

California has made shelter pets the official state pet and Georgia has made adoptable dogs the state dog. In fact, Raab originally got the idea after Ohio passed legislation to make shelter animals the state pet.

“The thing is, again, to raise animal awareness for adoption,” Raab said. “I first became aware of it in 2020 when Ohio passed the legislation, so now a bunch of other states are also looking to do this. And I thought, ‘why not North Carolina?’”

He said it is all about raising awareness for animal adoption.

According to Raab, more than half of the animals in our country that need saving from euthanasia are in five states, and North Carolina is one of them.

In one year alone, he said 62,000 shelter pets were euthanized here in North Carolina.

“A lot of people look at shelters as just a place to send bad dogs and, you know, it’s a last stop and things like that,” he said. “It’s not true and people got to get aware of the fact that there’s a lot of good dogs in here, a lot of good cats, a lot of good animals, so trying to raise awareness. Come take a look.”

Raab encourages anyone who wants to help in this push to email Representative Carson Smith at carson.smith@ncleg.gov.

You can also visit the Facebook Page: Naming NC Shelter Pets As State Animals.

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