Does Vermont have a state dog? A look at attempts to name a Green Mountain State breed

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Dogs, beloved companions of humans, are honored in the United States. Some states have named specific breeds, special to the state's history or geography, to be their state dogs.

The state of Vermont, despite two attempts at naming a state breed, has never decided on one.

Sen. John Rodgers, D-Essex-Orleans proposed the beagle be designated as the state dog in January 2015 after a push from constituents and a desire to lighten the mood. In a petition, at least 200 beagle lovers and rabbit hunters had endorsed the breed as "very loyal and hardworking, just like Vermonters."

However, that bill has not advanced.

PETA and puppy mills

The animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals pushed back against the bill in a letter to Rodgers that stated making the beagle the state dog would encourage puppy mills to breed more beagles. PETA proposed the "all-American mutt" as a better option for Vermont's state dog.

The Senate bill proposing the beagle as Vermont's state dog received a first reading, was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources and Energy and has not been discussed since.

Recue dog proposition stalled

Rep. Job Tate, R-Rutland-Windsor-1, presented a bill three months later proposing the rescue dog as Vermont's state dog. The bill was referred to the Committee on Government Operations and similarly to the beagle proposition, has not been heard again.

The discussion for Vermont's state dog is still open. Contact your legislators if you would like to propose a state breed.

Contact Urban Change Reporter Lilly St. Angelo at lstangelo@gannett.com. Follow her on Twitter: @lilly_st_ang

This article originally appeared on Burlington Free Press: Vermont state dog: Why Vermont doesn't have a state breed