A dog labeled as a Pitbull mix at the Clayton County Animal Shelter. State lawmakers approved a bill on Thursday naming the “adoptable dog” the official canine mascot of Georgia. BRANT SANDERLIN / BSANDERLIN@AJC.COM .

Lawmakers name “adoptable dog” as state dog of Georgia

Georgia is now running with the big dogs!

State lawmakers approved legislation Thursday night naming the “adoptable dog” as the state dog of Georgia.

In addition to showing some love to the needy animals, the bill also shows a little love and appreciation to the many animal shelters around the state and the work done by their staffs, said Sen. Burt Jones, R-Jackson, before the chamber’s 30-14 vote gave final passage to Senate Bill 168.

But the feel-good legislation was not without some pushback.

Having a dog of of an unknown breed as the official state canine is a “disgrace,” said Sen. Bill Heath, R-Bremen.

Sen. Ellis Black, R-Valdosta, echoed Heath’s opposition to bestowing the state honor on a dog from the pound. “You’re going to have people who are going to use this against the state of Georgia,” he said.

Earlier in the legislative session some lawmakers sought to name the English bulldog (think the University of Georgia’s Uga) as the officials mascot, but that effort failed to gain momentum.

Having passed both legislative chambers, the “adoptable dog” bill now moves to the governor’s desk to be signed.

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