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Article updated: 1/18/2013 7:21 AM

Illinois ranks lowest in pet ownership. Really?

By Teresa Schmedding

Illinois residents don't appear to be too fond of pets. Our state ranks among the lowest in the nation for pet-owning households.

A Schaumburg-based American Veterinary Medical Association (AMVA) reports that only 51.8 percent of Illinois households have pets.

It appears we're not dog fans either, ranking at the bottom with only 32.4 percent of households having a canine.

Felines aren't winning either; only 26.3 percent of us have cats (or rather, cats have consented to live in only 26.3 percent of our homes).

I have to admit, we were a little surprised in our news meeting since most of us are pet owners.

The District of Columbia ranks the lowest in all categories. Clearly, the Obama's Bo hasn't inspired the rest of D.C. to dive into pet ownership.

Top states for pet-ownership

Vermont: 70.8 percent

New Mexico with 67.6 percent

South Dakota with 65.6 percent

Oregon with 63.6 percent

Maine with 62.9 percent

Washington with 62.7 percent

Arkansas with 62.4 percent

West Virginia with 62.1 percent,

Idaho with 62 percent

Wyoming with 61.8 percent.

Lowest states for pet-ownership

Rhode Island: 53 percent

Minnesota with 53 percent

California with 52.9 percent

Maryland with 52.3 percent

Illinois with 51.8 percent

Nebraska with 51.3 percent

Utah with 51.2 percent

New Jersey with 50.7 percent

New York with 50.6 percent

Massachusetts: 50.4 percent

The District of Columbia: 21.9 percent

Top dog-ownership states

Arkansas: 47.9 percent

New Mexico: 46 percent

Kentucky: 45.9 percent

Missouri: 45.9 percent

West Virginia: 45.8 percent

Mississippi: 45.2 percent

Alabama: 44.1 percent

Tennessee: 44.1 percent

Texas: 44 percent

Oklahoma: 43.2 percent

Bottom dog-ownership states

Illinois: 32.4 percent

New Jersey: 32.4 percent

Minnesota: 31.9 percent

Maryland: 30.8 percent

New Hampshire: 30.3 percent

Utah: 29.4 percent

Rhode Island: 29.3 percent

New York: 29 percent

Connecticut: 28.3 percent

Massachusetts: 23.6 percent

The District of Columbia: 13.1 percent

Top states for cat-ownership

Vermont: 49.5 percent

Maine: 46.4 percent

Oregon: 40.2 percent

South Dakota: 39.1 percent

Washington: 39 percent

West Virginia: 38.1 percent

Kentucky: 36.8 percent

Idaho: 34.6 percent

Indiana: 34.4 percent

New Hampshire: 34.2 percent.

Bottom cat-ownership states

California: 28.3 percent

South Carolina: 27.8 percent

Rhode Island: 27.6 percent

Alabama: 27.4 percent

Florida: 27.3 percent

Georgia: 27.3 percent

Illinois: 26.3 percent

Louisiana: 25.9 percent

New Jersey: 25.3 percent

Utah: 24.6 percent

The District of Columbia: 11.6 percent.

The AMVA updates the U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook every five years. For more information about the AVMA or to obtain a copy of the U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook, visit www.amva.org. The AVMA, founded in 1863, is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world, with more than 82,500 member veterinarians worldwide engaged in a wide variety of professional activities and dedicated to the art and science of veterinary medicine.

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