Story of Romney’s dog tied to roof angers dog lovers (and voters)

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With the Republican primaries well underway and the 2012 election looming on the horizon, it’s not the economy or immigration or war that’s captured the attention of some voters. It’s dogs.

Specifically, Mitt Romney’s dog and his questionable treatement of the family pet on a 12-hour trip to Canada in the 80s. A story at sums up the story this way:

“Back in 1983, Mitt Romney traveled 12 hours to Canada with his Irish Setter, Seamus, strapped to the roof of the car in a kennel. Then, as the Boston Globe described when they broke the story in 2007, Romney’s son noticed a brown liquid dripping down the back window. Romney hosed the dog off and stuffed the hound back into the crate. The dog allegedly ran away when the Romney family finally reached its vacation destination.”

The story made the news during Romney’s 2007 bid for the presidency, and it had reared it’s doggie head again this time around. In fact, a dog named Rusty, who hosts the website, has been keeping the story alive for years, dubbing the incident “Crate-Gate.” The site’s Facebook page boasts more than 32,000 fans. Rusty even organized a protest outside the Westminster Kennel Club show this past week.

No word on where Seamus went when he bolted from the crate in the ’80s or how he spent the rest of his life; Romney has been hush on the ending to the story.  If he was smart, Seamus started running and never looked back.

In the end, it may not be Romney’s religion or politics that are the final  nail in his coffin. It might be the treatment of his dog. Woof!

So tell me what you think: Will a candidate’s treatment of his dog affect your decision on voting day?


  • Yvonne DiVita

    This isn’t as much about the dog, although I’m one who is so appalled at what he did I get tongue-tied, it’s about making poor decisions, it’s about not respecting a creature that depends on you, it’s about not understanding that this is an important subject to many, many pet owners. Who vote.

    All the way around, Romney gets a failing grade so… if I were republican, which I’m not, I’d be moving far away from him. Being a democrat, I spend my time sharing this story – because it speaks to his inability to reason. That’s all.

    • Joanne Brokaw

      I wouldn’t think it as bad if he appeared contrite or seemed like he knew it was a bad thing. Thirty years is a long time to hold something against someone. But he still seems to shake it off as if “Oh, gee, the animal lovers hate me”. That bothers me. I thought Bandit summed it up pretty good, LOL:


  • Rusty

    Thank you for this heartfelt piece.

  • Maggie

    It was cruel, not only animal abuse but a horrible example to his five children. And what about his wife? She could not or did not intervene for the dog and the kids’ sake? Sounds like an abusive man with an
    intimidated family to me. Time does not heal such scars. I was supporting him until I read about this tragedy, and no way will I support him now. Child protective service agencies, police, and prosecutors know that abuse of animals is a clue that someone may be likely to abuse children, spouses, or worse in later years. This sounds like a character flaw that I could not tolerate in a leader of my country.

  • Jennifer

    When this story came out, it made me so sick to my stomach. How anyone can vote for someone lacking compassion is beyond me.

  • Pingback: Romney’s son follows “Crate Gate” with another pet that “rides outside”? « Heavenly Creatures

  • http://patheos bob

    This is much more of a character issue than Gingrich’s infidelity and 3 wives. Let’s hope the scandal dogs him throughout the campaign.

  • George Barto

    If I was going to vote for a candidate, and I heard this story about them. I would not vote for that candidate anymore. If you do not have compassion for animals who give you unconditional love , then you do not deserve a vote for any office.

  • Nardo

    Big question. If this were an Obama story would the GOP and Fox News be running this story 24-7? Would Elisabeth on “The View” be crying about this every day?
    Would it be turned into some made-up charge about Obamas Kenyan beliefs on how dogs are treated and not ones in accordance with American values.
    Ask a Romney supporter about this story and if they say its no big deal then ask if it were Obama…

  • http://google Victoria

    Romney is no doubt a horrible person and he should have been cited for cruelty to animals. How horrible to do this to this poor dog and what a disgusting role model. I would not vote for him if he were the last man on earth. The guy is a jerk, snob and guilty of cruelty.

  • Minnie

    The guy is so rich that he could easily have bought or rented a van big enough to put the dog inside. I’ll bet the dog was howling all the way and Romney was pounding on the roof of the car yelling “Shut up!”

  • Diane

    What a vile man!!! How would he like it if he was strapped on the roof of a car for 12 hours. It was nothing short of evil cruelty. I bet you 10 THOUSAND DOLLARS he wouldn’t like it. ( Sound familiar Mitt?).

    This man is out of touch, lacks compassion, is cruel, clueless, remorseless and egotistical. I could go on and on.

    Well looks like it is time to go back to voting Democrat. I will even spend money to prevent Mitt from being the next president.

    If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men” – St. Francis of Assisi

  • MIKE

    ******************* MORATORIUM HAS NOT PASSED YET *****************