The 20 Most Pet-Friendly States in America

Source: Page Light Studios / Getty Images

20. Illinois
> No-kill shelters: 1.1 (per 100,000 people)
> Dog parks: 0.9 (per 100,000 people)
> Pet-friendly stores: 54
> Dog ownership rate: 18,562 (per 100,000 people)

Illinois ranks highly in three key metrics in determining pet friendliness. The state’s rates of No-kill shelters, total dog parks, and dog ownership are all among the top 20 in the country. Illinois was also rated as a the top overall state for animal protection laws by the Animal Legal Defense Fund in 2018.

[entry-topics ids=”11106″]

Source: David Sokoler / Getty Images

19. Massachusetts
> No-kill shelters: 1.2 (per 100,000 people)
> Dog parks: 1.3 (per 100,000 people)
> Pet-friendly stores: N/A
> Dog ownership rate: 12,315 (per 100,000 people)

In addition to having a high share of No-kill shelters per resident, Massachusetts has some of the strictest animal cruelty laws in the country. Veterinarians are required to report animal abuse; animal abusers can face felony charges; and citizens have legal protection from so-called “Good Samaritan” laws, meaning they cannot face punishment if they break into a hot car to free a dog inside.

[entry-topics ids=”22627″]

Source: ddea / Getty Images

18. Indiana
> No-kill shelters: 0.9 (per 100,000 people)
> Dog parks: 0.7 (per 100,000 people)
> Pet-friendly stores: 23
> Dog ownership rate: 24,194 (per 100,000 people)

Few states love dogs more than Indiana. With more than 24,000 dogs for every 100,000 people in the state, it has the fifth-highest dog ownership rate in the country. It also has a relatively high share of pet-friendly stores — at 23.

[entry-topics ids=”35717″]

Source: josephgruber / Getty Images

17. Virginia
> No-kill shelters: 0.7 (per 100,000 people)
> Dog parks: 1.2 (per 100,000 people)
> Pet-friendly stores: 22
> Dog ownership rate: 19,947 (per 100,000 people)

Virginia is one of the best states for keeping pets healthy. Virginia dogs have plenty of places to exercise, as the state ranks 12th with 1.2 dog parks per 100,000 people. It also has among the highest concentration of veterinarians and veterinary assistants

[entry-topics ids=”1834″]

Source: Page Light Studios / Getty Images

16. Louisiana
> No-kill shelters: 1.1 (per 100,000 people)
> Dog parks: 0.6 (per 100,000 people)
> Pet-friendly stores: 7
> Dog ownership rate: 23,927 (per 100,000 people)

Louisiana is one of just 14 states we considered for this list that has more than one No-kill shelter per 100,000 state residents. This is especially important given the high share of dogs in the state — nearly 24,000 per 100,000 residents, sixth among considered states.

[entry-topics ids=”59350″]