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How Much Is That Doggie In The Window? Most In R.I. Don't Care

R.I. ranks 47th in the country for dog ownership and 43rd for pet ownership overall, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.


The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recently released its U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook, which revealed that Rhode Island ranks 47th for dog ownership with just 29.3 percent of households owning a dog.

Rhode Island also ranked in the bottom 10 for pet and cat ownership in 2011. In 2006, which was the last time the AVMA put together the sourcebook, Rhode Island again made the bottom 10 list of pet owners, ranking 43rd with 53.9 percent of households owning a pet.

The survey is conducted by the AVMA every five years and always includes a breakdown of pet ownership by state. The most recent survey, conducted in 2012 but based on December 31, 2011 numbers, reveals that the top 10 pet-owning states are: Vermont where 70.8 percent of households owned a pet, New Mexico with 67.6 percent, South Dakota with 65.6 percent, Oregon with 63.6 percent, Maine with 62.9 percent, Washington with 62.7 percent, Arkansas with 62.4 percent, West Virginia with 62.1 percent, Idaho with 62 percent, and Wyoming with 61.8 percent.

The 10 states in 2011 with the lowest percentage of pet-owning households are: Rhode Island where 53 percent of households owned a pet, Minnesota with 53 percent, California with 52.9 percent, Maryland with 52.3 percent, Illinois with 51.8 percent, Nebraska with 51.3 percent, Utah with 51.2 percent, New Jersey with 50.7 percent, New York with 50.6 percent, and Massachusetts with 50.4 percent.  The District of Columbia had a far lower rate of pet ownership at 21.9 percent.

Top/Bottom Dog-Owning States

The Sourcebook reveals that the states with the most dog owners in 2011 are: Arkansas where 47.9 percent of households owned a dog, New Mexico with 46 percent, Kentucky with 45.9 percent, Missouri with 45.9 percent, West Virginia with 45.8 percent, Mississippi with 45.2 percent, Alabama with 44.1 percent, Tennessee with 44.1 percent, Texas with 44 percent, and Oklahoma with 43.2 percent.

The bottom 10 states in 2011 for dog ownership are: Illinois where 32.4 percent of households owned a dog, New Jersey with 32.4 percent, Minnesota with 31.9 percent, Maryland with 30.8 percent, New Hampshire with 30.3 percent, Utah with 29.4 percent, Rhode Island with 29.3 percent, New York with 29 percent, Connecticut with 28.3 percent, and Massachusetts with 23.6 percent. The District of Columbia had far lower dog ownership than any state with 13.1 percent.

Top/Bottom Cat-Owning States

The 2011 top 10 states with the most cat-owning households are: Vermont where 49.5 percent owned a cat, Maine with 46.4 percent, Oregon with 40.2 percent, South Dakota with 39.1 percent, Washington with 39 percent, West Virginia with 38.1 percent, Kentucky with 36.8 percent, Idaho with 34.6 percent, Indiana with 34.4 percent, and New Hampshire with 34.2 percent.

Conversely, the bottom 10 states with the lowest rate of cat-owning households in 2011 are: California where 28.3 percent of households owned a cat, South Carolina with 27.8 percent, Rhode Island with 27.6 percent, Alabama with 27.4 percent, Florida with 27.3 percent, Georgia with 27.3 percent, Illinois with 26.3 percent, Louisiana with 25.9 percent, New Jersey with 25.3 percent, and Utah with 24.6 percent.  The District of Columbia, once again, had by far the lowest rate of cat ownership with 11.6 percent. 

“This report reveals a tremendous amount of information about pets and their owners across the country; what’s constant and what has changed,” says Dr. Douglas G. Aspros, president of the AVMA. The U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook offers a great deal of information on pet ownership, trends and veterinary care. It’s available free to journalists and is for sale on the AVMA website.  For more information about the AVMA or to obtain a copy of the U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook, visit www.avma.org.

Do you own a pet? Why do you think many in Rhode Island don't own pets? Let us know in the comments section below. And show off your four-legged friend ... upload your cutest pics to this article.

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