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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 29, 2016 10:52 AM
From: Representative Michael H. Schlossberg
To: All House members
Subject: Reintroducing Shelter Pet as the Official Pet of the Commonwealth
In the near future, I will be reintroducing legislation that will designate the shelter pet as the official pet of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It is my sincere hope you will join me in this important effort.

As many of you are aware, the pet population continues to rise throughout this country. Recent estimates are that 78.2 million dogs and 86.4 million cats are owned as pets in the United States. As the number of pets increases, so does the number of cats and dogs that end up in this country’s 3,500 animal shelters. According to the Humane Society of the United States, between 6 and 8 million cats and dogs enter these shelters every year. Roughly half of these animals will be euthanized due to overcrowding and illness.

The growing pet population continues to be a problem in this Commonwealth and across the nation, placing an increasing strain on local shelters. Estimates on the number of stray animals are difficult to ascertain, but some estimates on the number of stray cats alone in this country are as high as 70 million. Many individuals, however, do not realize how serious a problem this is. Presently, only 21 percent of cats and dogs in the United States are adopted from animal shelters, even though most of these facilities perform health examinations and give vaccinations to animals when they arrive. Additionally, animal shelters routinely spay and neuter pets in their care, helping to keep the pet population in check.

This proposal was introduced as HB19 in the 2015-2016 session. It was co-sponsored by the following members: O'BRIEN, K. BOYLE, SWANGER, W. KELLER, McNEILL, FRANKEL, V. BROWN, BIZZARRO, M. DALEY, READSHAW, WHITE, COHEN and MURT

The California and Colorado gave shelter pets this designation; it is my hope that Pennsylvania will be next. I hope you will join me in this effort.

Introduced as HB493