Labrador retriever may become Minnesota’s official dog breed

January 29, 2019
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Tom Coleman, fourth left, of Pawsitivity Service Dogs, with Daniel, Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, second right, with his black lab Lucy and Ron Schara, right, with Raven mingle after Republicans unveiled "Raven's Bill," which would designate the Labrador Retriever as Minnesota's official dog breed, at the state Capitol in St. Paul, Minn., Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. On the left is Sen. Karin Housley, R-Stillwater. (Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune via AP)

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A “bipawtisan” group of lawmakers has introduced a bill to designate the Labrador retriever as the official dog breed of Minnesota.

The legislation is named “Raven’s Bill” after the mascot of outdoor writer Ron Schara’s TV show “Minnesota Bound.” Raven III was one of several black labs wagging their tails through Tuesday’s news conference.

While it’s meant to bring some humor to the Capitol, Sen. Carrie Ruud says there’s also a serious intent. One is to highlight the work of service dogs. It’s also meant as a civics lesson for schoolkids, who can track the bill’s progress on mnstatedog.org and encourage their lawmakers support it.

Sen. David Tomassoni notes that an initiative by schoolchildren in 2009 led to the designation of ice hockey as Minnesota’s official state sport in 2009.

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