The Humane Society of the United States congratulates the Obamas on bringing a new dog, Bo, into their family, and thanks them for taking in a second-chance dog. Bo is a Portuguese water dog who was apparently returned by the family that originally purchased him.
“Americans can follow this positive example by visiting their local animal shelter or breed rescue group, and giving another dog or cat a second chance at a loving home,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS.
“And President Obama can do even more for animal protection through the policies of federal agencies that deal with the welfare of millions of pets, helping us enforce existing animal welfare laws and cracking down on the national shame of rampant puppy mills in America.”
Families, like the Obamas, who are interested in a particular breed of animal or have special circumstances such as allergies in their household can turn to their local animal shelter or breed rescue group. About one-quarter of all dogs in shelters are purebreds, many surrendered by their owners like the new First Dog.
In these dog days of summer, let’s consider the most important decision facing Barack Obama. Long ago, as he set out on this race, he made the one campaign promise he can under no circumstances break: that when it was all over, whatever happened, his daughters could get a dog.
In the true spirit of doggy democracy, the AKC asked Americans to vote on the breed they think the Obama family should select. The AKC scoured all of the “canine candidates” to assess each breed’s credentials as potential “first pet” and best friend of the Obama family. Choices were narrowed significantly due to their daughters’ allergies. Therefore, AKC experts made the selection from their list of hypoallergenic breeds. The candidates are: Bichon Frise, Chinese Crested, Minature Schnauzer, Poodle and Soft Coated Wheaton Terrier.
In addition to having a hypoallergenic coat, other required qualifications to fill the vacant “presidential pet” post include: child-friendly (Obama has two daughters aged 6 and 9 years); a good travel companion (aboard Air Force One); moderate energy level (appropriate for a child to walk), and of course a stable and social temperament – able to adapt to varied visitors – from heads of state to members of the press corps.
The polls have closed. The Poodle won by a (dog) hair, with just a few hundred votes separating the top two contenders.
For more information on presidential dogs of the past visit: http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1830236,00.html