(PETS) Did you know that where you live may actually impact the quality of your pet’s life? If your pets are like family to you, there’s a chance you might live in one of these top 10 pet-friendly states.

Ranked by their animal cruelty laws, number of no-kill shelters, percentage of pet-friendly hotels and parks, and other factors, listed below are the states–from Washington to Maine–with the most enriching and safe environment for animals. — Global Animal

Safe Wise, Monique Seitz-Davis

Are your pets more like furry members of your family? If so, you’re probably interested to know which states in America provide the most enriching and safest environment for animals.

To find out, we took a look at 2015 data from the Bureau of Labor, the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), and online pet resources like BringFido.com. Then, we ranked states based on the strictest anti-cruelty laws, highest percentage of no-kill shelters, most pet-friendly hotels and parks, and more. Because when it comes to your fur babies, we know you want nothing but the best!

To top things off, we’ve updated the article to include a list of safety tips and tricks to help you and Fido combat seasonal changes.

10. Washington

The Pacific Northwest proves to be one of the best places to live for people and their pets. Although some of Washington’s cities ban pit bulls, a lot of the state welcomes pets in parks, restaurants, hotels, and more. Washington has the 13th best anti-cruelty laws and takes animal abuse very seriously. With so many animal lovers, Washington makes a wonderful place for people and their fur babies.

9. Rhode Island

Itty bitty Rhode Island has some of the best anti-cruelty laws in the country—coming in seventh in the nation for animal protection—and the best overall health and wellness factors for pets. Since Rhode Island is lined with pristine white beaches, it has designated 27 beaches and trails statewide as pet-friendly, so animals and their people can enjoy the outdoors together. Just grab a frisbee, load your doggies, kitties, or bunnies up in the car, and enjoy the safe, happy, and healthy environment Rhode Island provides for animals.

8. Kansas

Toto may have had it tough in Kansas, but today’s pets get along just fine. Besides its ban on pit bulls and rottweilers, humans and their beloved animals may frolic through 38 trails and beaches, stay in 370 hotels, and more. About 30 percent of its animal shelters are no-kill and provide homeless pets with safe respite until they find their forever homes. If you love animals and live in Kansas, you can adopt from the state’s 87 shelters to ensure every deserving animal find a home.

7. Massachusetts

The start of the American Revolution is also the 10th best place in the U.S. for anti-cruelty legislation. That means animals and pets in Massachusetts have greater protection against abusers and people who harm animals face much more severe punishment. This is great to see and bodes well for animals statewide. Massachusetts also has over 1,600 vets to keep pets in ideal health and 208 dog-friendly hiking trails, beaches, and parks. As of 2017, pit bulls are the only restricted breed in Massachusetts.

6. Oregon

The Beaver State is named after an animal, so it’s no surprise that Oregon made it as one of the best places in America for pets! The folks living here enjoy a ton of the awe-inspiring national parks, lush greenery, and gorgeous beaches with their pets; Oregon has over 200 dog-friendly trails, beaches, and parks as well as 240 pet-friendly businesses. Like Colorado, Oregon does have certain breed restrictions. In order to make Oregon an even better place for people and their pets, we’d love to see all breeds welcomed into the community and culture.

5. Colorado

From hiking and skiing to enjoying the average 300 days of sun, Colorado residents and their pets have a lot to live for. Pets specifically can run and play in over 1,000 pet-friendly hotels and 200 pet-friendly trails across Colorado The state’s 1,900 veterinarians also help keep these pets happy and healthy. The one major con pet-owners might find in Colorado is that seven cities in the state ban all fighting breeds, including pit bulls, American bulldogs, and more. We’re aware that these cities believe they’re protecting their citizens, but people who raise these breeds with love know they are no danger to anyone.

4. Oklahoma

When we say the name “Oklahoma,” a famous show tune might pop into your head. But now, the Sooner State has given us something to remember it for yet again: it’s the fourth-safest state in America for pets. Nationally, Oklahoma has the 17th best anti-cruelty laws, meaning its legislation provides animals with the most rights and punishes offenders with the strictest sentences. While we’d like to see a higher percentage of no-kill shelters, Oklahoma does offer pets solace with its 33 dog parks and pet-friendly trails and 93 dog-friendly restaurants. Overall, Oklahoma seems to be an enriching, safe, and healthy place for people to raise their beloved cats, dogs, and other furry babies.

3. Arizona

Arizona is truly for the outdoorsman/woman—and his/her nature-loving pets! With mild weather, hiking, biking, and more adventure, this place is great for pet-lovers based solely on that. It’s also the 10th best state in the country for its percentage of no-kill shelters and 11th for its strict anti-cruelty laws. Hilary Hager from Humane Society of America says that “A truly safe community ensures that pets can stay with the people who love them, even when they fall on hard times, and ensures that animals already living safely in the community remain undisturbed.” And based on the 629 pet-friendly businesses, over 900 pet-friendly hotels, and hundreds of hiking trails for animals, it seems like people here have taken her philosophies to heart.

2. Virginia

Virginia is for lovers and, apparently, animal-lovers too! Over 2,500 veterinarians practice in this southern state and its state legislation has made this the 19th best state in the country for anti-cruelty laws. On top of that, there are 371 dog-friendly restaurants and businesses in Virginia, so people and their pooches can enjoy running errands together. The major downside is that 15 percent of its shelters are no-kill, so animals without a home don’t have it nearly as good as those who are loved.

1. Maine

Vacationland is nothing but a vacation for the pets that live here. We’re happy to see that Maine has no breed restrictions and 76 dog-friendly beaches, hiking trails, and dog parks—and nearly 1,000 pet-friendly hotels. The only thing we’d like to see improve is the amount of Maine’s no-kill shelters; about 70 percent euthanize due to overcrowding. However, that’s just another great reason to adopt a pet and save a life in Maine—that, and the fact that this state doesn’t have any registered dog breeders, which means breeders here may not be doing so responsibly or ethically.

More Safe Wise: https://www.safewise.com/blog/safest-states-pets/

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