By Kevin Murphy
KANSAS CITY, Kansas (Reuters) - An animal rights group is objecting to proposed Kansas legislation that would make the Cairn terrier the state dog in honor of Toto, Dorothy's loyal pooch in the movie classic "The Wizard of Oz."
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wrote a letter Thursday to Kansas state Rep. Ed Trimmer asking him to withdraw a bill designating the Cairn terrier the state's official dog breed. The "Oz" movie is set, in part, in Kansas.
Martin Mersereau, director of cruelty investigations for PETA, said designating the Cairn terrier as state dog would create more puppy mills in a state he said already has too many.
"Naming the Cairn terrier -- or any breed -- Kansas' state dog would drive up demand for these dogs and entice puppy mills to churn out litter after litter of the breed, meaning fewer dogs would be adopted from your state's animal shelters," Mersereau wrote.
"What's more, " he stated, "when Kansans rush out to buy Cairn terriers, countless lovable, friendly, healthy dogs who are sitting in animal shelters across your state waiting to be adopted will miss out on their chance for a home -- and will end up dead."
Trimmer, a Democrat, did not immediately return a call seeking comment Thursday, but his secretary said he has given no indication he would withdraw the bill. The bill was introduced last week and was referred to a committee.
(Reporting By Kevin Murphy; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Paul Thomasch)