I’ll have a more formal version of this story up in a bit, but: it turns out that strapping your dog to the roof of your car might actually be against Massachusetts state law, which says anyone who
carries [an animal] or causes it to be carried in or upon a vehicle, or otherwise, in an unnecessarily cruel or inhuman manner or in a way and manner which might endanger the animal carried thereon…shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 5 years or imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 2 1/2 years or by a fine of not moe than $2,500, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
Not that we can lock him him up. It’s not a cut and dried case, according to animal welfare officer I spoke to, and it looks like the statute of limitations has passed on the incident (15 years). I’ve called the campaign for comment on it anyway, and the president of PETA, Ingrid Newkirk, was kind enough to weigh in as well:
What is also worrying is that Mr. Romney seems to hold the very old fashioned idea that he needs to actively show he is heartless, hence the hunting claims he has made. Not subsistence hunting, but pride in killing defenseless animals for sport, for fun, for show. [I believe this is in reference to the “small varmint” safaris. — AMC]
In the case of the dog on the roof of the car, if this is true, quite remarkably it obviously wasn’t for show as only his own children were watching, a lesson in cruelty that was also wrong for them to witness. There was also the obviousness of the situation. Thinking of the wind, the weather, the speed, the vulnerability, the isolation on the roof, it is commonsense that any dog who’s under extreme stress might show that stress by losing control of his bowels: that alone should have been sufficient indication that the dog was, basically, being tortured.
If you wouldn’t strap your child to the roof of your car, you have no business doing that to the family dog! I don’t know who would find that acceptable.
More to come.
UPDATE: Formal story here.