HSUS Declares California Most Humane State in the US

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis
California comes in again as most the Humane State in the US, according to The Humane Society of the United States, while Mississippi rounds out the bottom of the list.

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has released records rating states’ levels of ‘humane’ treatment towards animals based on state policies, laws and other treatments, and once again, California leads the pack as the most humane in the country.

Oregon came in second, followed by Massachusetts, both with considerable nods toward their laws that protect animals in those states. California is a tough act to follow, though, as it was the first state in the country to ban pet stores from selling puppy mill dogs, and legislating rescue or shelter dogs be sold instead. Rounding out the top five were Virginia in fourth place and Colorado, Washington and Illinois sharing the number five position.

Related: American Humane Turns Shelter Dogs to Service Dogs For Veterans

Mississippi came in last, with South and North Dakotas coming right behind them due to poor humane policy and legislation in their states. They were followed by Wyoming and Idaho, and all five states have little to no protection or regulation for dogs when it comes to commercial breeding.

The HSUS puts together a list of state rankings they base on animal welfare policies from each state, as well as programs each state has that provide incentives for low-cost spay and neuter programs for animals.

Nevada passed legislation that protected animals left unattended in hot weather, as well as a few other policies that protected animals, and brought itself up in the rankings from 22nd to 20th. Pennsylvania created stricter laws for animal abusers and enacted stiffer penalties for abusers, including the forced surrender of any pet owned by someone who has been convicted of a felony animal cruelty act, as well as penalties for tethering animals in poor weather. They moved from 18th to 15th place.

Related: Humane Society Fights Back Against USDA Records Removal

Humane Society Fights Back Against USDA Records RemovalIllinois passed a law that allows animals used in research to be adopted, and Indiana moved from 36th place to 25th place by passing a law to stop dogs from dying in unattended cars in poor weather, as well as pet protection laws that covered dogs involved in domestic abuse cases.

While Florida didn’t pass the greyhound protection bill the HSUS was hoping it would, they will continue to work toward bringing that back to lawmakers’ desks. They continue to work to ban the sale of puppy mill dogs in several more states looking at legislation.

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

More by Lori Ennis