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South Dakota Ranks #3 in Nation Among Pet Owners

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Americans love their pets, but there’s one state that may love them just a little bit more than the rest of us.

The American Veterinary Medical Association surveyed over 222,000 people around the country to find out where people are most likely to own pets. The state that has the highest percentage? Drum roll, please…

Vermont! The land of Ben & Jerry’s is also the home of Fido and Kitty. The survey found nearly 71% of people in the state own pets. New Mexico came in second.

On the other end of the spectrum is Washington, DC. Only a hair under 22% of residents have pets in our nation’s capital.

Further analysis finds Arkansas leads the nation in dog ownership, with 47.9%, while Illinois was last, with 32.4%.

Among cats, Vermont led the way, thanks to the 49.5% of folks there who have a feline. California brought up the rear in this category. Only 27.8% of people in the Golden State own a cat.

Here’s a look at the states with the highest and lowest rates of pet ownership, along with the percentage of people in each state with pets:

HIGHEST PERCENTAGE OF PET OWNERS:

1. Vermont: 70.8%
2. New Mexico: 67.6%
3. South Dakota: 65.6%
4. Oregon: 63.6%
5. Maine: 62.9%
6. Washington: 62.7%
7. Arkansas: 62.4%
8. West Virginia: 62.1%
9. Idaho: 62%
10. Wyoming: 61.8%

LOWEST PERCENTAGE OF PET OWNERS:

1. District of Columbia: 21.9%
2. Massachusetts: 50.4%
3. New York: 50.6%
4. New Jersey: 50.7%
5. Utah: 51.2%
6. Nebraska: 51.3%
7. Illinois: 51.8%
8. Maryland: 52.3%
9. California: 52.9%
10. (tie) Minnesota: 53%
10. (tie) Rhode Island: 53%

[AVMA]

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