rescue dog picture, Sam Haut

Rescue dog made Delaware’s official state pup

Sam HautGovernment, Headlines

rescue dog picture, Sam Haut

Even the rescue dogs were happy to see Gov. John Carney sign a bill making them the official state dog.

In front of the Delaware Humane Animal Partners building in Wilmington and a crowd of 45 people, Governor John Carney made the rescue dog the state’s permanent official state dog.

The bill to do it was sponsored by Sen. Jack Walsh, D-Stanton/Newport. 

“It only takes one visit inside to tug at your hearts, right? And it’s not just dogs, it’s cats too,” Walsh said. “But one visit inside and you’ll know why we’re making the rescue dog our state dog in the state of Delaware. I myself have a rescue dog. I rescued a dog about eight years ago, her name’s Daisy.”

Carney recounted the story of how his family adopted a rescue dog.

“It was a Sunday morning, and I got a call from Tracy and my youngest son, Jim, to come down here to visit the cats. And this particular day, Tracy said, you need to come down. 

“And so I came down and they were in with the dogs. And this one dog whose name was Kinsey had his chin on my youngest son’s lap. Years later, Kinsey had stayed with us for 15 years.”

Related Story: Rescue dog on its way to be named official state animal

In previous years the legislature made rescue dogs the state dog for only a year, as was the case with House Bill 57 in 2019 and House Bill 76 in 2021. Before that, certain breeds were named the state dog.

Keith Hasset, a member of the Delaware Humane Association, said it’s appropriate  Delaware to make the rescue dog the state dog.

“Rescue dogs fit a wide variety of breeds,”  Hasset said. “So instead of having the collie as a state dog, everybody can identify with the rescue dog. So I think it’s fitting. That way you can cover all the breeds and everybody feels included.”

Cassidy Krastel, a humane education coordinator at the Brandywine Valley SPCA, said some people consider rescue dogs as less popular than specific breeds, but she feels they’re just as good as any dog.

“They want purebreds. They want labs and poodles, different dogs like that. So rescue dogs are definitely less popular,” Krastel said. “But they’re great. They’re very lovable.

“They’re a lot more grateful for us than a regular dog would be because we’re taking them home to a home that they’ve never had before, giving them things they’ve never had before.”

Krastel said that they hope more people adopt because they’re over capacity because of the holiday weekend. Many people abandon dogs over holidays, she said.

“We definitely are doing as much as we can to get them moving,” she said.

The bill that made the rescue dog the state dog permanently was sponsored in the House by Rep. Bryan Shupe, R-Milford. He is the CEO of Delaware LIVE.

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