While animal rights activism isn’t usually a subject that gets the blood boiling in Republican voters, many animal owners were appalled to learn that their top tier Presidential candidate, former MA governor Mitt Romney, was once accused of canine abuse toward his own family pet, an Irish Setter named Seamus.
This story has been reported many times in recent years. It was big media news in 2007 during the Republican primaries. With Romney once again considered a front-runner in the GOP primaries, the story has re-emerged with many asking the question:
Does America want a President who is capable of abusing a family pet?
It was 1983, and Gov. Romney took his family on a 12 hour road trip from their home in Massachusetts. Seamus, their four-legged family member, was along for the ride. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough room for Seamus inside of the vehicle. Instead of making room for the pet, Romney placed the poor creature inside of a dog carrier strapped to the roof of the vehicle traveling at highway speeds of 60-70 MPH or more.
Not surprisingly, in the course of the 12 hour long drive, canine excrement covered the roof and windows of the vehicle as the animal went into a terrifying shock and relieved himself inside of his carrier.
Aside from the emotional terror of being trapped in a tiny box with the wind in your face for 12 hours, let’s cover the true science behind this situation and what the dog actually experienced on top of the Romney family car.
According to aerospace engineering experts, at the speeds the vehicle was traveling, poor Seamus would’ve had 10 lbs of pressure per square foot beating against his little head. While the windshield would’ve still protected the front of the poor creature, the air surrounding him would’ve been so intense, little Seamus would’ve become physically exhausted.
Additionally, veterinarians expressed concern that the dog could’ve been severely dehydrated by the experience, and experts say that the very act of tying an animal to the outside of the car was illegal.
The incident itself has painted family values presidential candidate Romney in a very bad light. However, the news of this road trip broke because the former governor told the story to a local newspaper indicating that his ability to handle the situation in a calm, collected manner demonstrated a necessary Presidential quality of “emotion-free crisis management.” Romney’s desire to show that he can keep cool in a tough situation backfired, according to many Americans, depicting Romney as an unfeeling, despicable animal abuser.
So, the question remains. As Romney still sits comfortably as a top tier GOP Presidential candidate in the primaries, is a nation of people who consider their pets to be family ready to vote for a President who once put his own family dog in a life-threatening, emotionally and physically abusive situation? Do we even want to consider him as an option when he had the audacity to brag about the situation to a local newspaper?
Jennifer Kilkenny is a freelance writer and web professional who has published numerous articles online. Her portfolio can be viewed here.