Animal welfare group objects to bill to designate state dog

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — A national animal welfare organization says it opposes a proposal to make the Labrador retriever the state dog of Ohio, arguing the bill will entice puppy mills to produce them in large numbers.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent a letter to the bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Jeffery Rezabek of Clayton. The Columbus Dispatch reports that PETA says it believes the measure should be amended to include mutts or shelter dogs.

Rezabek previously said his bill wouldn’t interfere with a proposal introduced last year to designate the shelter pet as the state pet.

A dozen states have an official state dog, including Georgia, which in 2016 recognized the “adoptable dog.” Others include the Great Dane in Pennsylvania and the American water spaniel in Wisconsin.