California’s First Dog Makes Official Debut

By on February 16, 2011 with 0 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

At HSUS, we celebrate the bond between humans and animals, and we’re excited whenever the cause of companion animal adoption gets a boost. That’s why we back the Shelter Pet Project with Maddie’s Fund and the Ad Council, among other adoption-promotion programs.

And it’s also why we’re delighted to learn that the 7-year-old Corgi known as Sutter (@SutterBrown on Twitter) has been designated California’s First Dog. On Valentine’s Day, Gov. Jerry Brown and his wife Anne Gust Brown made the decision to keep the canine companion who has been accompanying them to work at the Capitol every day since Governor Brown’s term began. Older dogs make great companions, and this sends the right signal to people on the lookout for a new best friend.

HSUS California senior state director Jennifer Fearing with Sutter the corgi
Jennifer Fearing with Sutter.

The announcement of Sutter’s adoption came at an impromptu “meet and greet” held on the Capitol steps yesterday. HSUS senior state director Jennifer Fearing, co-author of Dogs at Work: A Practical Guide to Creating Dog-Friendly Workplaces, was on hand to welcome Sutter to the Capitol community.

Jennifer gave a signed copy of her book to California’s first family in early January, and she was as excited as anyone about the news. “At the moment, Sacramento’s leaders are making tough decisions about the state’s budget, and Sutter’s presence in the building is a welcome morale boost for everyone.”

Jerry Brown is not the first governor to take his dog to work every day. In the early 1920s, Maine’s Percival Baxter took his Irish setter Garry to the office with him, and, on the occasion of his faithful companion’s death, had the state flag outside the Maine Capitol flown at half-mast. 

At HSUS, we love having dogs around, and we know the tangible value of their presence. Dozens of dogs “come to work” in our offices every day, and they’re now an essential part of our workplace environment. In 2007, to assist in the spread of the dogs at work program, Humane Society Press, the publishing division of The HSUS, published the definitive guide to creating a successful dog-friendly workplace.

If a dogs-at-work policy is something you’d like to pursue, you can order a copy of Dogs at Work for $21.95. And if you’re successful, we’d love to hear about it.

Any highly visible adoption or rescue of a companion animal by a public figure is a wonderful gesture, resulting in a happy ending for all parties involved, and setting a strong example for others to follow. We’re grateful to the Brown family for making their commitment to Sutter real, and for making it known to the world.

Animal Rescue and Care

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