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Positively LEX 18: Kentucky boy working to get rescue animals recognized as state pet

Posted at 6:55 PM, Feb 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-02 11:54:03-05

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — About a year ago, we introduced you to a seven-year-old boy on a mission to get rescue pets recognized as the official state pet. The bill he inspired passed in the House last year and is now on to the Senate. LEX 18 spoke with Ethan Branscum about how he's working to make a difference.

Branscum is known for his love for animals. For the past 365 days, Branscum has been on a quest for a Senator to support his big idea by writing them letters.

A similar letter tugged on the heart strings of Representative Joe Graviess last year, when Ethan, who was seven at the time, wrote him about his bill that would recognize all rescue pets as the official state pet. Branscum says his hope is that people would adopt more animals in the state.

"Some of those pets have to be put down because there's not enough room to have them. The shelters get overflowed. But I think that if more pets were adopted, that would mean less pets would have to be put down," Ethan said.

Although House Bill 27 passed with flying colors last January, this year, the Bill needs to be passed in the Agriculture Committee, where senator Adrienne Southworth is sponsoring the Bill.

"Ethan is a great example of learning the process. He's like okay, we've got to get it into a committee, okay we've got to have a hearing. You know how many people know the process of having to get into a committee and getting a hearing? Contacting your representative and your senator and all of this," Senator Southworth said.

Despite unforeseen obstacles due to the COVID-19 pandemic, nothing has stopped Ethan.

"I think we should all treat rescue pets like we would be treated. Basically, put us into their shoes, or should I say paws," Ethan said.

Changing the future of animals looking for a forever home.