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Survey: D.C. residents lacking in furry friends

Wednesday - 1/16/2013, 5:21pm  ET

pets_Cairn.jpg
Zach Teicher walks his cairn terriers Woodrow (left) and Alabama (right) in McLean Gardens in Northwest D.C. Wednesday morning. (WTOP/Kristi King)
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'If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog'

Kristi King, WTOP Reporter

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WASHINGTON - Alexandria is known nationwide as a dog-friendly city - so much so that the city touts its pouch-friendly status on its website. But, it's another story across the Potomac River.

D.C. ranks dead last among U.S. states, including the District, for pet ownership, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.

This week the association released the results of its pet ownership and demographic survey, conducted every five years. The survey found that just 21 percent of households in the District own a pet.

The survey also found that the District had the smallest percentage of dog owners and cat owners. D.C. pet owners were also the least likely to take their animals to the veterinarian.

The association noted that the District's pet ownership rates are far lower than any other state.

Maryland also is among states with the lowest percentage of pet-owning households with just 52.3 percent, according to the survey.

The 10 states with the highest percentage of pet ownership are:

  • Vermont 70.8 percent
  • New Mexico 67.6 percent
  • South Dakota 65.6 percent
  • Oregon 63.6 percent
  • Maine 62.9 percent
  • Washington 62.7 percent
  • Arkansas 62.4 percent
  • West Virginia 62.1 percent
  • Idaho 62 percent
  • Wyoming 61.8 percent

The 10 states with the lowest rate of pet ownership are:

  • Rhode Island 53 percent
  • Minnesota 53 percent
  • California 52.9 percent
  • Maryland 52.3 percent
  • Illinois 51.8 percent
  • Nebraska 51.3 percent
  • Utah 51.2 percent
  • New Jersey 50.7 percent
  • New York 50.6 percent
  • Massachusetts 50.4 percent
  • District of Columbia 21.9 percent.

WTOP's Kristi King contributed to this report. Follow @kingWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2013 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)