Is Joe Biden in the doghouse?
When we told you last week about Vice President-elect Joe Biden's new German shepherd puppy, we suspected a few of you might be mad that he chose to purchase from a breeder rather than adopt. (Truthfully, we were a little upset ourselves. Was Biden unaware of the many shepherds available in animal shelters and rescues nationwide? We can't recall the last time we went to a shelter without seeing at least two or three.)
We were a little surprised, though, by the flood of comments we received. A few supported Biden's choice, but a lot of you were pretty angry with the future VP. And animal activists all across the country are chiming in as well.
Ugh. I'm sorely upset about this -- not to mention worried that his supporters will now all run out and get purebred German shepherds. I mean, not only is it really out of touch with dog issues to buy a dog from a breeder -- or plain cold-hearted -- it's such a bad idea that one New Mexico county has just banned selling dogs from pet stores altogether. At least some Americans know what's up. So what's with our future vice president?
PETA also noted that it will be investigating an allegation that the breeder from whom Biden purchased the puppy is "a known puppy mill operator."
Michael Markarian, executive vice president of the Humane Society of the United States, told the Philadelphia Inquirer, "We are surprised that Sen. Biden chose to purchase a dog from a commercial kennel since he has been a leader on animal-protection issues and has championed a number of important animal-welfare reforms in the Senate ... President-elect Obama can send a stronger message of hope and change for animals by adopting a homeless dog from an animal shelter or rescue group."
The Inquirer's article also notes that Biden spokeswoman Elizabeth Alexander defended the vice president-elect:
" 'Vice President-elect Biden has a stellar animal-rights record, and was one of only seven senators who in 2008 received a 100 percent rating from the Humane Society, which also called him a 'Humane Champion' and a 'prime-sponsor of pro-animal-rights legislation,' Alexander said."
She added: "He is an advocate for rescuing animals, as shown by his rescue of the Biden's current cat, Daisy, from a local shelter."
-- Lindsay Barnett
Photo: J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press