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Bo: The Kind-Of Rescued, Not-Really, Gray-Area, White House Pup

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Below are a smattering of comments I’ve found on the web recently from animal rescuers, activists, and bloggers regarding the Obama family’s new dog, Bo. You can join others discussing the topic on this thread here.

“I think all of us who work trying to place homeless animals had hoped that they would choose a shelter dog. His choosing to go to a breeder is a disappointment. Choosing a shelter dog, that would have been a really powerful message to the American people.”Steve Gruber, spokesman for the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals in New York City.

“He’s [Bo] in a gray area. 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, 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.”Wayne Pacelle, Humane Society of the United States

“I don’t consider Bo to be a rescued dog.”Martha Stern, the breeder who supplied the Obama family with their new pup.

“When he was resoundingly elected to office we were promised change. But, it seems, true to type the new American president is a politician at heart so should we really have expected anything different?” — Dog Magazine’s Ryan O’Meara.

“Yet despite all their stated good intentions, in the end the Obamas decided to allow their choice of dog to be guided, which is to say commandeered, by the Kennedys, and the Kennedy family’s breed preference for the rarefied Portuguese Water Dog.  Moreover, instead of even trying to find a Portie through a breed rescue, they chose to patronize the Kennedys’ own breeder (I know the official version of the story is that the new puppy is a “gift” from Ted Kennedy, but does anyone believe that gift wasn’t green-lighted by the Obamas?).”Kate Woodviolet, LA Examiner

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