Dogs & Laws

Senate Bill Proposes ‘Toto’ as State Dog of Kansas

Many states in the US have designated “state dogs.” For example, Alaska has the Alaskan Malamute, Maryland the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Massachusetts honors the Boston Terrier, and Pennsylvania the Great Dane. In the proposed House Bill No. 251, Kansas representatives will vote on whether to add Kansas to the growing list of states with dog mascots by honoring the Cairn Terrier, famously linked to Kansas by Toto from The Wizard of Oz.

Beccy Tanner of The Wichita Eagle reported:

Senate Bill Proposes ‘Toto’ as State Dog of Kansas

We’ve got a state insect, bird, song, animal and tree.

Now comes a proposal for a state dog – the cairn terrier, the breed that played Toto in “The Wizard of Oz.”

“Kansas has a state reptile, for goodness’ sakes,” said Brenda Moore of Augusta, obedience chairwoman with the South Central Kansas Kennel Club.

So why not a state dog?

Like Kansans, Moore said, “Cairn terriers have a gusto for life. They are very smart and very loyal, although they can be a little bit of a digger – like all terriers can.

“I’ve lived in Kansas all my life. I am a middle-aged woman and would like to say I’ve done something great for my state before I am dead and gone. I’m hoping this will go through.”

Moore contacted State Rep. Ed Trimmer, D-Winfield, about proposing a bill designating the cairn terrier as the official dog breed of Kansas. Last week, he introduced House Bill No. 251.

“They just thought we needed a state dog,” Trimmer said Thursday. “It is one of those things that when a constituent asks you, you do.

“I realize we have very critical, critical issues at the state level. But our constituents and their issues are very important to them and that’s why I introduced it for them.”

But Toto?

“If we are going to have a state dog, I think that is the appropriate choice,” Trimmer said.

Before any bill can be passed, the proposal will go to a committee – in this case, the House Standing Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources. There will be a hearing before it goes to the floor for a vote.

“The first time I get on the floor to do anything, I expect to get barked at,” Trimmer said.

Read the full text here. Do you think the Cairn Terrier will make a suitable state dog of Kansas? If your state was voting for a state dog, what breed would you vote for? Tell us why in a comment below!

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