Home Politics When man’s best friend becomes a politician’s worst nightmare

When man’s best friend becomes a politician’s worst nightmare

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President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden look at their new dog, Commander, after a holiday event at the White House on December 25, 2021.

An adorable dog can soften a politician’s image, create viral moments on social media and help voters identify with an office candidate vying for their vote.

But make one misstep when it comes to the family dog ​​and prepare to face the wrath of dog lovers everywhere.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem became the latest politician to face dog-related backlash after he admitted in his next book who, 20 years ago, shot and killed his 14-month-old dog, Cricket. According to The Guardian, Noem writes that she “hated” the “aggressive” dog, who she said ruined a pheasant hunt and attacked her neighbor’s chickens.

The story created a social media storm over the weekend, with dog lovers on both sides of the aisle condemning her decision to kill her dog. Noem, who has been floated as a possible contender to be former President Donald Trump’s running mate, still maintains his decision from 20 years ago.

Noem is not the first politician to provoke anger among critics over the treatment of a dog over the years. Here’s a look at politicians who have been condemned for their behavior towards their puppies.

Joe Biden

President Joe Biden faced fierce criticism after two of the First Family’s German shepherds were involved in several biting incidents.

Last year it was reported that Biden’s 2-year-old German shepherd was involved in 11 biting incidents with White House and Secret Service staff. In February, CNN reported that commander was involved in 24 biting incidents with Secret Service personnel. Commander was removed from the White House campus in October.

Three years ago, Major, also a German Shepherd, was sent to live with friends from the family after their own biting incidents.

The incident prompted action by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R.N.C.), who sent a letter to Biden and acting Labor Secretary Julie Su in October seeking to examine workplace safety conditions in the House White.

Foxx told POLITICO that he wrote the letter to remind the White House that it is “not immune from the laws of the land.”

“The President and First Lady care deeply about the safety of those who work in the White House and those who protect them every day,” Elizabeth Alexander, the first lady’s communications director, told POLITICO in October. “They remain grateful for the patience and support of the United States Secret Service and everyone involved as they continue to seek solutions.”

andres cuomo

Governor Andrew Cuomo holds his new dog Captain, a Siberian Shepherd mix, during a mayoral conference in Albany, New York, on February 12, 2018.

After New York Governor Andrew Cuomo resigned and moved out of his mansion almost three years ago, the Albany newspaper Times Union reported that he wasn’t trying to take his dog, the Captain, with him.

Cuomo reportedly asked staff at the mansion if anyone would be interested in taking care of Captain, a 4-year-old shepherd-Siberian-malamute mix, who had been nipping at a few people since Cuomo adopted him in 2018, according to the report.

Democrats and Republicans criticized Cuomo on social media for apparently leaving his puppy behind.

“Not just the worst governor in America. “America’s Worst Dog Owner.” Representative Elise Stefanik (RN.Y.) wrote in a post. “You can recognize people’s character by the way they treat their animals.”

“I’m taking the puppy,” said Ron Kim, a Democratic New York state assemblyman. he wrote on what was then called Twitter.

Cuomo refuted dog desertion allegations, saying on social media that “Some people just can’t understand the facts.”

“Yes, I’ve been monitoring the storm response in the state for a few days, but the Captain and I are a man and his dog,” Cuomo wrote in the post. “He is part of our family and will always be that way.”

Ted Cruz

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) came under fire three years ago after a The journalist posted a photo of his family’s fluffy white dog, Snowflake, looking out the window. from the senator’s dark home while Cruz and his family traveled to Cancun during a statewide emergency.

The photo of the seemingly sidelined poodle immediately added to the backlash Cruz was already facing for taking his family out of the country during a storm that left millions of Texans without power.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton He hit Cruz in X After the photo started circulating, it said, “Don’t vote for anyone you wouldn’t trust with your dog.”

Cruz denied that Snowflake had been left to fend for himself, saying the dog had a sitter “and the heat and electricity were actually back on.”

“I spend too much time on Twitter, so I see that I’ve apparently fed Snowflake to the wolves,” Cruz said at the time.

Pamela Bondi

Pam Bondi sits with Noah, her adopted St. Bernard dog who was rescued from a shelter after Hurricane Katrina, on July 25, 2006, at her home in Tampa, Florida.

Before Pam Bondi was elected Florida attorney general in 2010, she was involved in a custody battle over a St. Bernard with victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Bondi adopted the dog in 2005 after he was separated from his family during Hurricane Katrina. But a Louisiana family had been trying to find his dog, originally named Master Tank but Bondi renamed him Noah, and tracked down his whereabouts in 2006.

Bondi refused to return him and accused the family of neglect because the dog had been facing long-term problems such as heartworms. The family said the dog had heartworms since he was 10 months old. according to the St. Petersburg Times.

The family sued and the dispute lasted 16 months and was broadcast on CNN and Fox News. Both sides settled the case just before it went to trial and Bondi returned the dog to the family with food and medication.

Mitt Romney

Senator Mitt Romney speaks to reporters in his office on Capitol Hill on September 13, 2023.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) still remembers an incident involving his Irish setter Seamus even though it happened decades ago.

The story first emerged in 2007 when The Boston Globe reported that in 1983, Romney, 36, put the family dog ​​in a cage on the roof of his car because there was no room in the van during a 12-hour car trip from Massachusetts to Canada. The dog eventually became ill and Romney stopped at a gas station to wash it. Romney placed Seamus back in the carrier, returned him to the top of the car, and continued with the rest of the trip.

Romney later defended the decision, stating that Seamus was in an “airtight” kennel and that the dog got into the car regularly.

The story earned immediate condemnation from many politicians, but it especially became a favorite stick with which to beat Romney when he ran for president.

During the 2012 presidential race, Republican rival Rick Santorum said that voters should consider whether Romney is the “kind of person you want to be president of the United States.” Also that year, his fellow rival Newt Gingrich came out with an ad attacking Romney over the story. Former President Barack Obama also mocked Romney for the incident.

The saga even took place in the March 2012 cover of The New Yorkerwhich showed Romney driving a car with Santorum sticking his neck out of a doghouse tied to the roof of the vehicle.

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