9-year-old Frankfort boy continues efforts to make pawsitive change
Ethan Branscum is trying to raise awareness about the plight of rescue animals
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Ethan Branscum, a nine-year-old boy in Frankfort, is once again lobbying to get rescue animals named the state pet of Kentucky. His efforts first started in April 2019, when the then six-year-old heard a news segment about Ohio naming shelter pets as the official symbolic pet. Inspired by this news, he wrote to his state representative to ask if Kentucky could do the same.
“We need to be the voice for the animals, because they don’t have voices,” said Branscum.
This year, his efforts have led to joint bills before the Kentucky General Assembly; HB 100 and SB 72 sponsored by Representative Cherlynn Stevenson and Senator Adrienne Southworth.
“I think this will really help the animals by bringing more awareness about all of the animals in shelters and the need to adopt them,” said Branscum. “It also will be a tribute towards all of the shelter workers who work very, very hard to make the animals happy, but to an animal there is nothing like a real home.”
The legislative effort inspired Branscum, with help from his mom Miche’ Branscum, to create Ethan’s Rescue Pet Project on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube to share animals from around the Commonwealth who are currently awaiting homes in Kentucky shelters.
“I originally planned on just focusing on the bill,” said Branscum. “But I realized that this was a much bigger problem, so I wanted to help animals find homes, so we started Ethan’s Rescue Pet Project.”
You can learn more about the project HERE.
Branscum was recognized by the Humane Society of the United States with a Humane Advocate Award in May.