Monday, July 02, 2007

Mitt Romney's dog

David at Blue Mass Group offers comment on the Boston Globe's story which reveals that Mitt Romney used to strap his dog's carrier to the roof of the car and put the dog in it for 12-hour trips from Boston to Ontario (the specific story takes place in the mid-1980s). In the story, the children are disgusted because the dog, Seamus, has emptied his bowels in his crate, and the animal waste is dripping off the back of the car:
As the oldest son, Tagg Romney commandeered the way-back of the wagon, keeping his eyes fixed out the rear window, where he glimpsed the first sign of trouble. ''Dad!'' he yelled. ''Gross!'' A brown liquid was dripping down the back window, payback from an Irish setter who'd been riding on the roof in the wind for hours.
As the rest of the boys joined in the howls of disgust, Romney coolly pulled off the highway and into a service station. There, he borrowed a hose, washed down Seamus and the car, then hopped back onto the highway. It was a tiny preview of a trait he would grow famous for in business: emotion-free crisis management.
David at Blue Mass Group, quoting Ana Marie Cox:
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 situation."
In the comments, several people correctly observe that a crate-trained dog won't relieve itself in its own crate unless it absolutely has to or is under extreme stress.

Not surprising from a man who wants to double the size of Guantanamo.

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