In elementary school we learned all about Michigan status symbols, many of which are animals. If the robin is our official state bird, our state fish the trout, and Michigan’s official state game mammal the white-tailed deer, what is our official state dog breed?
I started digging into this answer after a recent quiz night at Lucky Girl Brewing in Paw Paw. In one round, a question was asked about the official state dog of Pennsylvania. I didn’t even know having an official dog breed was an option! Pennsylvania’s state dog is the Great Dane, for the record. This made me curious if Michigan has an official state dog?
The short answer is: not yet.
Only twelve states in the United States have official state dog breeds in addition to Maine, which is the only state to have a official state cat. Unfortunately, Michigan is not one of those twelve. However, I was surprised to learn that Michigan lawmakers were working on a bill to designate “shelter animals” as Michigan’s official state pets.
As of April 2021, Michigan House Representative Padma Kuppa (D-Troy) reintroduced a previous resolution from 2019 to designate shelter animals as Michigan’s official state pet. Kuppa says she was inspired to create the bill by students in her district and wanted to draw attention to the euthanasia rates among shelter animals.
The 2021 bill has been sent to committee Government operations. If adopted, Michigan will join states like California, Tennessee, Ohio and Oklahoma that have all declared shelter animals to be official state pets.
If Michigan had to have an official dog breed, which one would you choose and why?