New York -- A handful of Dogs Against Romney supporters protested outside of the Westminster Kennel Club dog show on Tuesday about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's alleged inhumane treatment of a dog.
The story goes that in 1983, Romney strapped the family's dog, an Irish Setter named Seamus, to the top of the family's car for a 12-hour drive from Boston to Ontario. Romney has said in the past that he didn't think Seamus minded the ride on top of the family's going as far to say that's where he was comfortable, but one of the handful of protesters on the scene couldn't believe that any dog would enjoy that trip.
He clearly doesn't understand his own dog, said Steve, an admitted animal lover who saw the event on Facebook. I just don't see how any dog could enjoy being on top of a car for that long. Dogs enjoy sticking their head out for a little air, not being on top of a car.
The issue has been one that has generated a good amount of media interest since initially being reported in 2007 by the Boston Globe. Since then it has been discussed on television programs, The New York Times, and even appeared in a Newt Gingrich advertisement. On Tuesday, the Dogs Against Romney protest likely had more journalists than actual protesters, including reporters from The Huffington Post, The Associated Press, and The New York Times.
One of the common themes throughout the largely unorganized protest was that it is difficult to trust someone that doesn't value their animals.
Dogs deserve our love and concern, John Davenport, a resident of the Upper West Side in New York, said. You feel more comfortable about people that love animals.
Another argument centered on the way to treat all walks of life. Davenport questioned whether anyone would ever put their child on top of a car and drive 70 miles per hour and said that every creature is part of the web of life.
Still, it appeared that the protesters had issues with more than just Romney's treatment of dogs. Steve admitted that the dog issue wouldn't be a deal breaker if he agreed with Romney's other policies, while Davenport was about as far left of the spectrum as possible.
If I was a standard Republican, God forbid, it might make me reconsider, he said. He continued to say that Romney has so much stuff that he represents that I don't like and that the whole collection of Republican presidential candidates was wildly inappropriate.
Westminster Kennel Club spokesman David Frei didn't care to comment on the protest only to say that some group is always trying to capitalize on the media attention that the world's most famous dog show annually attracts.