OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Mark McBride’s dog Cali is likely none the wiser, but her kind should all be wagging their tails today after her owner secured a victory in the House to designate the rescue pet as the state animal.
House Bill 3971 – now known as Cali’s Law thanks to a late floor amendment – designates as the state pet of Oklahoma any companion animal adopted from an animal shelter or rescue group. The bill passed the floor by a vote of 76-5.
“I filed this bill to help bring attention to all the animals that are in shelters that are in danger of being euthanized,” said McBride (R-Moore). “Eight years ago, when I first took office, this would not have been a big deal to me, but after adopting Cali and seeing how many other animals are in shelters, and how our cities have to keep building bigger shelters and finding ways to try to keep these animals alive, I wanted to do something to help. I want people to be aware there are good pets out there just waiting for the right person to adopt them.”
Cali is an 80-pound Catahoula that McBride adopted about six years ago from the Moore Animal Shelter. He said she’s the first dog he’s ever allowed in his house, but now he’s a sucker for her company.
“That dog brings me a lot of joy,” McBride said. “I might be having the worst day, and she’s happy to see me.”
Nicole McKim, senior animal control officer for the Moore Animal Welfare Adoption Center, said she feels McBride’s measure could help boost adoptions at the center as well as for other shelters across the state.
She said the shelter right now receives 60 to 70 dogs per month and 20 to 30 cats, with more in the spring. The shelter also receives rabbits, other small mammals, reptiles and birds among other animals. Some of those animals are strays that will be reunited with their owners, but many will be put up for adoption.
“If we can get advertising from this bill, that will help,” McKim said.
HB 3971, Cali’s Law, now moves to the State Senate where it is authored by Darrell Weaver (R-Moore).