Safewise recently surveyed which states nationwide were the best and worst for pets to live in, and Utah ranked sixth as the least pet friendly. Katie McEntire worked on the survey and told us what the study looked at.
"We took a look at protection laws for animals, not so much quantity as it was quality… States who're ranked a little higher tended to rate animal abuse as a felony rather than a misdemeanor," she said. "We looked at the number of veterinarians and the number of pet-friendly destinations - things like hotels or restaurants or activities - pet friendly parks, things like that. It wasn't that Utah failed, but other states tended to do a little better."
McEntire said there’s a number of ways Utah can improve their score, making the state a better place for pets.
"For everyday folks, if they want to adopt an animal, that would probably be better than going to a breeder," she said. "Utah only has 21 no-kill shelters. Supporting those kinds of shelters, that's a good way to start. Being aware of conservation and wildlife protection, is another big part. If people are interested in legal issues, it is legal in Utah to leave an animal in a car during the summer or if someone were to try and break out an animal from a hot car, they could face punishment. Bringing those issues up to legislators is a good start."
Some states who topped the study were Oregon, Washington, Louisiana and Texas, each with dozens to hundreds of pet-friendly destinations and felony consequences for pet abuse.
More information can be found at www.safewise.com/blog/safest-states-pets.