Dogs and cats adopted from shelters are now Colorado's official state pets

Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep remain state animal

DENVER - Shelter dogs and cats are now Colorado's official state pet.

Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a bill making the designation on Monday morning at Denver's animal shelter. The Democratic governor brought along his dog, Sky, which he got from a shelter.

The proposal was brought forward by Colorado schoolchildren, but it was not without some controversy. Opponents of the proposal argued that it would create a designation for a business transaction, and that some of the shelter dogs and cats are possibly not even from Colorado.

Supporters say the bill helps schoolchildren learn about the legislative process. Hickenlooper told people at the signing ceremony that "these pets become a huge part of people's lives."

Colorado already has an official state animal, the Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep.

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