This legislative session two competing bills aim to establish a state dog for Oregon. SCR 4 would designate the Border collie as the official state dog while HCR 16 would designate the rescued shelter dog as the official state dog. Though we at Humane Oregon love Border collies along with all other dogs, we submitted testimony against SCR 4 because we believe that the rescued shelter dog would be a better choice of state dog for Oregon. Brian Posewitz presented testimony against SCR 4 in Salem yesterday on behalf of Humane Oregon. Humane Oregon Board Member Scott Beckstead also testified against SCR 4 on behalf of the Humane Society of the United States in his role as HSUS Oregon State Director.
We are concerned that choosing a particular breed of dog as the state dog could promote the purchase of purebred dogs from breeders, which in turn encourages more breeding in a world where the number of dogs already exceeds the number of homes for them. While some breeders take excellent care of their dogs, buying dogs creates a market that encourages less scrupulous people to breed dogs in terrible conditions to make a few bucks. Every couple of years it seems, one of those situations makes its way into a heart-breaking story in the media.
On the other hand, choosing a shelter dog as the state dog would encourage people to provide homes for homeless dogs. It would also recognize and honor all of the great work of local humane societies and shelters in Oregon, and all of the big-hearted people who have already adopted dogs from shelters.
To learn more about SCR 4, the Border collie resolution, look here.
To learn more about HCR 16, the Shelter dog resolution, look here.