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GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney strapped family Irish Setter to car roof for twelve-hour drive from Boston to Ontario

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Old June 28th 07, 03:21 AM posted to alt.true-crime,rec.pets.dogs.health,rec.pets.dogs.behavior,talk.politics.animals,soc.retirement
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Default GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney strapped family Irish Setter to car roof for twelve-hour drive from Boston to Ontario


Wednesday, Jun. 27, 2007
Romney's Cruel Canine Vacation

The reporter intended the anecdote that opened part four of the Boston
Globe's profile of Mitt Romney to illustrate, as the story said,
"emotion-free crisis management": Father deals with minor - but gross
- incident during a 1983 family vacation, and saves the day. But the
details of the event are more than unseemly - they may, in fact, be

The incident: dog excrement found on the roof and windows of the
Romney station wagon. How it got the Romney strapped a dog carrier
- with the family dog Seamus, an Irish Setter, in it - to the roof of
the family station wagon for a twelve hour drive from Boston to
Ontario, which the family apparently completed, despite Seamus's
rather visceral protest.

Massachusetts's animal cruelty laws specifically prohibit anyone from
carrying an animal "in or upon a vehicle, or otherwise, in an
unnecessarily cruel or inhuman manner or in a way and manner which
might endanger the animal carried thereon." An officer for the
Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
responded to a description of the situation saying "it's definitely
something I'd want to check out." The officer, Nadia Branca, declined
to give a definitive opinion on whether Romney broke the law but did
note that it's against state law to have a dog in an open bed of a
pick-up truck, and "if the dog was being carried in a way that
endangers it, that would be illegal." And while it appears that the
statute of limitations has probably passed, Stacey Wolf, attorney and
legislative director for the ASPCA, said "even if it turns out to not
be against the law at the time, in the district, we'd hope that people
would use common sense...Any manner of transporting a dog that places
the animal in serious danger is something that we'd think is
inappropriate...I can?t speak to the accuracy of the case, but it
raises concerns about the judgment used in this particular

Ingrid Newkirk, president of People for the Ethical Treatment of
Animals, was less circumspect. PETA does not have a position on
Romney's candidacy per se, but Newkirk called the incident "a lesson
in cruelty that was ... wrong for [his children] to witness...Thinking
of the wind, the weather, the speed, the vulnerability, the isolation
on the roof, it is commonsense that any dog who's under extreme stress
might show that stress by losing control of his bowels: that alone
should have been sufficient indication that the dog was, basically,
being tortured." Romney, of course, has expressed support for the use
of "enhanced interrogation" techniques when it comes to terrorists;
his campaign did not return repeated calls and emails about the
treatment of his dog.

As organizer of the Salt Lake City Olympic Games, Romney came under
fire from some animal welfare groups for including a rodeo exhibition
as part of the Games' festivities. At the time, he told protesters,
"We are working hard to make this as safe a rodeo for cowboys and
animals as is humanly possible."


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