Last month, we reported that state officials were proposing that the Cairn Terrier (played by Toto, of Wizard of Oz fame) be the official state dog of Kansas.
According to the Witchita Eagle, The House Standing Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources declined to hear House Bill 251, essentially squashing any chances of Cairn Terrier fame for Kansas this year. However, State Representative Ed Trimmer plans to re-introduce the bill again next year.
Representative Trimmer said,
“We had great responses from kids. And, I think this will give me a chance to go into the classrooms and visit with them, let them know this is part of the learning process and sometimes when you ask the first time, and the answer is no, you have to learn how to ask again. If it is something you want, you have to be persistent.”
It’s surprising that this bill for a Kansas state dog was declined, considering that Kansas has already declared a state reptile (the ornate box turtle), a state bird (the Western meadowlark), a state insect (the honeybee) and a state amphibian (the barred tiger salamander).
Because of Kansas’ reputation as a puppy mill state, PETA strongly opposed the bill, causing those in favor of it’s passing to speculate that the decision was strictly due to this being an election year.
Brenda Moore, obedience chairwoman with the South Central Kansas Kennel Club, plans to pick up where state representatives left off with the bill.
She said she wants to create a petition drive and collect signatures from Kansans to present to state politicians; she also wants to raise awareness for existing state laws that have created stiffer penalties for puppy mill operations.
“Over the last six years, we have cleaned up a lot of the nasty people,” Moore said. “Most of the breeders are on the up and up.
In any case, better luck next year, Toto! We’re rooting for you.