DENVER (AP) – Shelter dogs and cats are now Colorado’s official state pet.

Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a bill making the designation on Monday morning at Denver’s animal shelter. The Democratic governor brought along his dog, Skye, which he got from a shelter.

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The proposal was brought forward by Colorado schoolchildren, but it was not without some controversy. Opponents of the proposal argued that it would create a designation for a business transaction, and that some of the shelter dogs and cats are possibly not even from Colorado.

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Supporters say the bill helps schoolchildren learn about the legislative process. Hickenlooper told people at the signing ceremony that “these pets become a huge part of people’s lives.”

Colorado already has an official state animal, the Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep.

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