Thursday, April 16, 2009

Disappointing Choice

President Obama deliberately passed up a chance to really do a lot of good for animal shelters all over the country by choosing to get the First Dog from a breeder instead of a rescue organization.

Sure, the family has the ultimate right to get their pet from whatever source they decide on, but it seems to me Malia and Sasha probably wouldn't care much where their dog came from - they just want a pet! I really don't think that the Obamas ever had any serious intention to get a shelter dog. Their first choice always had been a breeder, in spite of the very real tragedy of millions of perfectly wonderful dogs, cats, rabbits and all other domestic animals languishing in shelters everywhere, unwanted and unloved. The fact that they and their P.R. flunkies are now equivocating about getting their dog from a "home where he didn't work out" instead of a "breeder" indicates that they are aware of a public-relations backlash and realize their unpopular, indefensible decision. The fact that the dog was a gift from Senator Edward Kennedy does not cover up the fact that it came from a breeder.

I realize that being President is the most difficult job in the world because anything you do is guaranteed to piss off someone, and there are many more pressing issues that command his attention. But it would have been such a great boost to the thousands of organizations across this country, whose members labor tirelessly and often without compensation amid depressing, demoralizing conditions, to have a shelter animal in one of the most visible platforms in the entire world. Maybe people would have thought, "if a rescue dog is good enough for the White House, they're good enough for me."

A shelter animal in the White House would have been a great thing. The Obama girls would have gotten a fantastic pet and it would have been a potent reminder to everyone seeking a companion animal that adopting from a shelter is saving a life, and creating space for another life to be saved.

Obama chose not to exercise moral leadership and do the decent thing, and because of that he gets a great big FAIL!!! We expected better from him.

1 comment:

  1. I thought, and I could be wrong, that in the beginning he was talking about a rescued dog. Then this one was given him by Ted Kennedy. I figured he couldn't refuse a gift from a dying man....On one of the news channels they did have the good sense to run a rescue dog story the same day. There is the issue of getting a dog and not several rabbits......