MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – Under a bill unanimously approved by a Florida Senate committee on Monday, animals in rescue shelters and those adopted could become Florida’s official state pet.

Democratic Senator Kevin Rader said he filed the legislation after reading rescue animals have become the official state pet or animal of elsewhere, including California, Colorado, Tennessee, Georgia, Illinois, and Ohio.

“The intent of this designation is to raise public awareness of the many animals waiting for forever homes,” Rader said. “Hopefully this will encourage more Floridians to adopt pets out of our shelters.”

The bill has one more committee stop before reaching the full Senate. An identical House bill is waiting for approval in two committees before going to the full chamber.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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