SALT LAKE CITY - Oregon has been named the most pet-friendly state in America in a report Tuesday from SafeWise, a home security review site.
Here's their summary ranking:
We go to great lengths to keep our furry friends happy, but can the state you live in change your pet's quality of life?
To find out, we looked to sources like BringFido, Animal Legal Defense Fund, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and nOkill Network for a bird's eye view at the number of anti-abuse laws, veterinarians, and no-kill shelters in each state. Pet-friendly restaurants, hotels, and activities were also factors in our ranking. From what we found, these states are the cat's meow. See if your state made the list of top 10 pet paradises.
10. New Hampshire
New Hampshire is full of hiking trails and pet-friendly destinations. Across the state, we found hundreds of vacation rentals and restaurants that welcome pets. The Granite State is a great place for outdoorsy dogs, too, with over 50 hiking trails open to animals. Plus, it's a friendly place for all breeds. Beyond wolf-hybrids, New Hampshire has no breed restrictions.1 This means regulated breeds like pit bulls are easier for renters to own or take out in public.
From longhorns to Labradoodles, Texans love animals. Wild and domestic animals have strict laws protecting them across the state. Many other states only consider cruelty a misdemeanor punishable with a small fine. But according to the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), the maximum penalty for animal cruelty in Texas is up to 20 years imprisonment with a $10,000 fine. Texas also has thousands of pet-friendly restaurants, hotels, and hiking trails to enjoy with your pets.
8. Rhode Island
Rhode Island is small, but the locals are big fans of animals. From an adventure on a coastal yacht cruise to a hike on one of the 14 pet-friendly trails across the state—there's plenty to do in "Little Rhody". Many states have a limited legal definition of "animal" that leaves a lot of critters unprotected by the law. Rhode Island's broad definition includes service animals, livestock, and wildlife. Another law on the books, according to the ALDF, prevents cities from restricting dog and cat breeds, so everyone is welcome.
From Norfolk to Blacksburg, Virginia is full of pet-friendly places. You can stroll along the shore or take one of the dozens of pet-friendly trails in the mountains. Old Dominion also takes animal rights seriously. Virginia is home to over 60 no-kill shelters and more than 2,000 veterinarians.2And it isn't just horse country, Virginia is a great state for pets, wildlife, and other livestock too.
In Louisiana, the "hair of the dog" isn't just a hangover cure. BringFido.com reported 700 pet-friendly restaurants across the state for you and your party animals to enjoy. Louisiana is a melting pot of culture, making it great for locals and newcomers alike. In addition, The Pelican State has 50 no-kill shelters and ranks higher than 43 states for anti-cruelty laws according to the Animal Legal Defense Fund.
Washington takes pet-friendliness to Olympic proportions—hundreds of dog parks, hiking trails and pet-friendly beaches that'll get you and your pets outside and in nature. After your hike, you can go to any of the thousands of welcoming restaurants for a pick-me-up. But beautiful scenery and new smells aren't all Washington has to offer. You can also adopt new four-legged friends from any of the 60 no-kill shelters across the state.
California has the most veterinarians in the country. The Gold Coast is also home to over 500 dog parks, 81 dog-friendly beaches, and a handful of stunning national parks and monuments. California law is also highly protective of abused animals. The ALDF reports that Californians convicted of animal abuse can't own animals for 5 to 10 years after the offense.
Unless you're a lobster, Maine is a great place to be an animal. "Vacationland" is home to thousands of pet-friendly locations like hotels, restaurants, dog parks, beaches, and hiking trails. This makes Maine an ideal doggy destination. It's great for local animals too. Maine is home to 26 no-kill shelters, 460 veterinarians, and the third-best animal protection laws in the nation according to the Animal Legal Defense Fund.3
Colorado is a pet paradise with miles of scenic hiking trails. The Centennial State is home to 74 no-kill shelters and 2,150 veterinarians too. Colorado also has some of the nation's best animal protection laws. For example, domestic abuse can include crimes against a victim's animal, and veterinarians are required to report suspected cruelty. Top it off with Colorado's stunning national parks and your mutt may never want to leave the mountains.
Oregon has it all—thousands of pet-friendly properties to visit, strict anti-abuse laws, and lots of no-kill shelters where you can meet new friends. Portland alone has over 350 pet-friendly restaurants. If you find yourself on the coast, Cannon Beach is great for a seaside stroll with your pooch. Animal law in Oregon is more advanced than the rest of the country too—animal fighting is a felony and charges increase with cases involving multiple animals. These and other laws have placed Oregon at the top of our list and #2 nationally according to the Animal Legal Defense Fund.4
For more information -- and the list of the 10 least pet-friendly states -- visit: https://www.safewise.com/blog/safest-states-pets/