By Gabriela Resto-Montero
MANHATTAN — Upper East Side Assemblyman Micah Kellner wants New York to get a dog — an official state dog, that is.
In particular, he wants a "rescue dog" to get the top pooch title.
Kellner, a Democrat, announced that he would introduce legislation co-sponsored by Republican Joseph E. Robach to name an official New York State Dog Thursday. New York State has an official bird, tree and flower, but it has no official dog.
"Shelter and rescue animals are unconditionally loving and loyal pets that are eager to become beloved members of a family," said Kellner. "It's time for New York State to throw these dogs a bone."
Stephen Adler, 25, who works on the Upper West Side, thought the legislation sounded like a good idea, especially the bit about selecting the top dog from a shelter.
"Boston has the Boston Terrier, but what does New York have?" Adler said. "Mutts. It works."
Although, he added, "I'm sure some prissy Upper East Side people would try to have it be a poodle."
Leslie Radwan, 59, of Harlem, said she liked the idea too.
"I'm thinking something feral, something that runs the streets," she said, adding that a rescue dog getting the official title made sense to her because, "New York is such a mix. It is a mosaic, it is a melting pot."
Kellner is a longtime animal lover who has fostered several dogs. Last fall, criticized the city's Animal Care and Control agency for banning volunteers from speaking negatively about their facilities and asked Comptroller John Liu to look into the agency's finances, as well as allegations of substandard animal treatment.
Upper West Side Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, not wanting to leave cats behind, announced Wednesday that she would propose legislation for naming an official New York State cat, according to the New York Times.