|Last year, I introduced a proposal to designate rescued shelter dogs and cats as the official state pet. I thought it would be good for families, reduce reliance on puppy mills, encourage more adoptions, and in so doing, save thousands of tax dollars now used to maintain public shelters.
The bill did not pass. But I plan to bring it back next year.
Creating state symbols are not the most important issues we consider in Salem. But each year there are proposals that reflect our history, support local economies, encourage public pride or empower needed preservation.
Everyone knows that our state animal (with apologies to duck fans) is the beaver. But we also have Dungeness Crab as the official crustacean, Chinook Salmon as the state fish, pears as the state fruit, Douglas Fir as the state tree, Hazelnuts as the state nut, and milk as the state drink. Marionberry is the official state pie and Brewer’s Yeast was named the state microbe as a key component in our craft beer scene.
We have a state rock, fossil, gemstone, insect, soil, seashell, songbird, song and dance. So maybe saving a few dogs and cats is not such a bad addition to the list.