Tuesday, April 14, 2009

HSUS on Bobama

From time.com:

The Humane Society's Pacelle acknowledged that the Obamas never flat-out promised to get a dog from a pound or rescue group.
Admitting a fact as truth FTW - yay!

And the society has kind words for Obama on its Web site: "Thanks, Mr. President, for giving a second-chance dog a forever home," it says.

"He's in a gray area," Pacelle said of Bo. "But I will say that many animal advocates are disappointed that he (Obama) didn't go to a shelter or breed rescue group, partly because he set that expectation and because so many activists are focused on trying to reduce the number of animals euthanized at shelters,[...]
Those would be "activists" who don't work for the HSUS I guess?

[...]and there's no better person to make the case to the American public that you can get a great dog from a shelter than the president."
Dude, really? It's true I look to the President for guidance on issues like why we need to send our troops overseas, how the new tax laws will impact our economy, etc. But he never claimed to be a dog expert and I certainly wouldn't consider him a source for guidance on how to get a dog any more than I would check what kind of socks he wears before I go to the dollar store to get me some new ones.

No, I think if I had to name someone who was in an excellent position to make the case to America on the joy of adopting a shelter dog, I might say perhaps someone who runs the frikkin' Humane Society of the United States! But apparently THAT GUY thinks the President should do HIS job (in his spare time, when he's not writing memos on his Leader of the Free World stationery). Dang, talk about buck passing. I say, let the President make decisions on how best to run the country and take the task of shelter dog promotion off his honey-do list. That'll be good. You know, one less thing.

The group later removed its congratulatory message and replaced it with: "First Dog Unveiled. Concerns about impact on shelters, demand for breed as Bo makes his debut."
[insert Debbie Downer sound effect] Hello again old friend Truthiness. Short trip, eh?


Katie said...

I'm curious how much of a difference where the Obamas got their dog would really make. If had gone out and gotten, say, a "hypoallergenic" Labradoodle from a shelter, would that really create more demand for shelter dogs? I can see it creating more demand for Labradoodles, but shelter dogs? Surely we'll be seeing a rush on Porties now, but how much of a rush on responsible breeders are we going to see?

YesBiscuit! said...

I would tend to agree that the appearance (breed) of the dog will make more of an impact on the public than the source.

ambsimmo said...

Yes - the appearance DOES have more of an impact than the source. I agree with that completely. However, if the Obamas had gotten an outright "mutt", perhaps more people WOULD be going to shelters to find similar dogs. In the meantime, it would have raised awareness about shelter animals if the Obamas had actually visited one.

And yes, I do know one of the girls has allergies. However, did no one tell them that NO dog is hypoallergenic, if it sheds or not. People are allergic to the DANDER, not the HAIR. And porties have very long hair that the dander will cling to.

Furthermore, although the president should be worrying about more important things, he is still a role model in many people's eyes. And whether he is making a decision about The War Iraq or what socks to wear, he should keep the impact on the American people in mind.

ambsimmo said...

*The War ON Iraq

sorry :]

YesBiscuit! said...

I have every confidence that the First Family knows the difference between hypoallergenic and non-allergenic. They have a kid with allergies after all. Porties have relatively long hair yes but unlike most breeds, they lack the double coat which is the primary shed coat which aggravates allergies. That's why they are considered hypoallergenic.
In thinking about your point if the Obamas went to a shelter and got, for example a Shepherd mix, and there was a "run" on shelters looking for dogs that looked like the Obama dog - would that be desirable? If there is a run on Porties, the people who ultimately buy will likely have been screened by a responsible breeder with whom they will have a lifetime relationship and support. I can't say the same for the average shelter dog. I also can imagine irresponsible people trying to breed mixes that LOOK LIKE the Obama Shepherd mix just to make a quick buck. Most likely they would be breeding unscreened animals of unknown lineage, not screening buyers, not providing a lifetime of support and not offering to take the dog back at any time in future if things don't work out.