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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20190&cosponId=27305
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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: January 3, 2019 11:05 AM
From: Representative Michael H. Schlossberg
To: All House members
Subject: Designating "Shelter Pet" as the Official Pet of PA (Because you love PUPPIES & KITTENS)
 
One of the great American stories is the special moment when a human takes in an animal, setting the foundation for a bond that endures. Our pets quickly become part of the family. They find their way into family gatherings and become fixtures in our family pictures. Their presence enriches our lives.

As the parent of an adopted dog (Molly), I marvel at the completeness our family enjoys as a result of her presence. We adopted Molly from a local shelter when she was a pup. She was part of the growing pet population that continues to be a problem in this Commonwealth and across the nation, placing an increasing strain on local shelters and taxpayers. According to the most recent estimates, there are approximately 89 million dogs and 94 million cats 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 animal shelters. Approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter shelters every year, with as many as 1.5 million of these animals being euthanized due to overcrowding and illness.

To call attention to the plight of shelter pets and encourage adoption by naming them the official pet of the Commonwealth, I will be re-introducing legislation designing “shelter pet” as the official pet of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It is estimated that only 37 percent of dogs and 46 percent of cats in the United States are adopted from animal shelters, even though most of these facilities perform health examinations and provide 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. Furthermore, adopting a pet from an animal shelter is generally less expensive than buying a pet at a pet store or through a breeder.

Every dog and cat deserves a loving home and I believe this legislation will go a long way to help Pennsylvanians find the love and affection that comes with adopting a beloved companion. Please join me recognizing shelter pets and encouraging the citizens of Pennsylvania to adopt from a local shelter to provide one of these shelter pets with a loving home, and reduce the number of euthanized animals.

If you have any questions about this legislation, you can contact my legislative assistant Geoff Brace (gbrace@pahouse.net).

During the 2017-2018 session, this legislation was introduced as HB493. It was co-sponsored by the following Members: BIZZARRO, DAY, DONATUCCI, FARRY, FRANKEL, GILLEN, McNEILL, O'BRIEN, READSHAW, SCHWEYER, SIMS and SOLOMON



Introduced as HB521