Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Pet owners - take paws…ahem, pause.
It turns out you're living in the perfect state.
The security company Safewise released its top 10 pet-friendly states, and Maine is number one on the list.
So what makes our state so great for our four-legged friends?
According to the list, the Pine Tree state has 76 dog-friendly beaches and nearly 1,000 pet friendly hotels.
“I've never really thought much about it, so it's nice to see,” said Frank Billings. He owns Happy Tails - a doggy daycare and kennel - and says that since opening in 2003, he's seen no shortage of four-legged clients.
“You always see a lot of dogs coming up into Maine, New England from the South and Midwest, so you know it's very dog friendly up here,” he said.
With an abundance of dog parks, mountains and hiking trails - Billings says keeping your puppies busy in the winter is a walk in the park, with activities like snow-shoeing and cross country skiing.
While Maine did secure the number one spot - it didn't receive a perfect score.
The list noted that Maine still has a large percentage of shelters that euthanize dogs because of overcrowding.
Billings wants Mainers to realize how many pets in our state need their help before they adopt from out of state. “It's great to help people in other parts of the country, but we also need to focus on what's here,” he said.
There are 136 animal shelters in Maine alone.
Here are some helpful tips from the Maine Animal Welfare Department if you’re looking to adopt this holiday season:
- Only adopt or buy a pet from a licensed facility. All of the Pet Stores, Breeders, and Animal Shelters need to have their State of Maine License posted in a visible place.
- Avoid parking lots. If someone wants to meet you in a strange parking lot to exchange money for a pet use caution. If you have to meet in a parking lot, Animal Welfare suggests you use the one at your local police department. It may help reduce the chances of being scammed.
- Breeders, animal shelters/ rescues, and pet stores should be open and helpful to you and they should be available for you if you have any questions or concerns. If they are not forthcoming with information or secretive, you may want to avoid them and look elsewhere.
- Schedule an appointment with a vet right away. If you bring a new pet into your home have it check out medical so you do not have any unwanted expensive surprises. Healthy pets under the Christmas tree will lead to long happy memories. Plus your local vet will be able to help you integrate your new pet into your family.
- Contact a local animal trainer. Your new pet does not speak the same language you speak and you have to teach it the rules of the house. A certified trainer will help train you to train your new pet and can prevent frustrations of new pet owners.
- Check with your local town offices and see what laws may affect you and your new pet. Remember, Dogs need to be licensed when they turn 6 months old.
- Give your new pet time to adjust and get them into a good routine early on.