mitt romney loaded his dog into a carrier on the roof of his car
by Ali Berman
Categories: Animals, Causes
Tags: , .
Photo: Gage Skidmore

You’re going to hear a lot of dirty laundry about presidential candidates before the next election. But perhaps none will be as strange or as horrible as this. According to Howard Stern, back in 1983, Mitt Romney strapped his dog in a carrier to the roof of his car while heading on a trip from Boston to Ontario.

It may have happened nearly 30 years ago, but Stern doesn’t trust a man who could possibly think that kind of treatment towards animals is humane. The Irish Setter didn’t think so either and had diarrhea down the sides of the vehicle.

Stern said on his show, “Mitt Romney seems like a fairly levelheaded guy. But there’s one story that I read about him…This sounds crazy to me. This is a real character flaw…I can’t even believe it’s true. They say that Mitt Romney had a [dog]. He had to take a long car ride. He tied the dog to the top of the car…I’m talking about—not like from his house to the drugstore…Like one of these crazy long trips—and the dog even s**t all over the [top] of the car because the dog was frightened…It shows me that this is a guy who has really whacked out judgment. It is so bizarre to take your family pet and strap him to the top of the car…It just shows me that there’s a lack of empathy for everything living.”

Stern went on to say, “To me, Mitt Romney treated his dog like a mattress or a Christmas tree. This bothers me. It just doesn’t seem like good judgment…It’s like the Beverly Hillbillies. And the Beverly Hillbillies treated the critters better! I just see it as weird.”

We have to agree that, even if the carrier had a windshield, putting your beloved family companion on the roof of your car is nothing short of disgraceful.

Romney told Chris Wallace about the incident, “This is a completely air-tight kennel mounted on the top of our car. He climbed up there regularly, enjoyed himself. He was in a kennel at home a great deal of time as well. We loved the dog. It was where he was comfortable and we had five kids inside the car and my guess is he liked it a lot better in his kennel than he would have liked it inside.”

Does this change your view of the presidential hopeful?

About Ali Berman

Ali Berman is the author of Choosing a Good Life: Lessons from People Who Have Found Their Place in the World (Hazelden) and Misdirected (Seven Stories Press). She works as a humane educator for HEART teaching kids about issues affecting people, animals and the environment. Her published work can be found on her website at In early 2012 Ali co-founded flipmeover, a production company with the mission to use media to raise awareness of social issues.

View all posts by Ali Berman →
  • Anonymous

    he didn’t let the dog out to relieve itself? wow

  • Rebel Sound

    I’m so happy that Howard Stern called him out on this. I live in MA and would never vote for Mitt(en).

  • Samantha Kowalsky

    And what’s worse, after the dog had had the diarrhea (still not too far into the trip), he pulled over at a gas station and USED A HOSE ON THE DOG. Cold water, soaking the dog’s long fur. And the wind shield was unstable so he removed it at that time too. So for the majority of the trip, this dog was soaking wet, and being blasted by 65 mph wind, in Canada, for hours!

    It was already bad enough without knowing that, but now imagine it again!

    Airtight, eh? Just like your campaign stability. If you don’t even know what “airtight” means, how do you think you can run this country?

  • Laura

    I think Romney is a POS for what he did to that poor dog. The way a person treats animals tells A LOT about his personality.

  • pike

    Sociopath….no remorse for abuse to animals. Next it’s people.

    • Barry Schwartz

      I think this is right. His line of ‘work’ would be attractive to such a person, but more notably, I think, is the way in which he seems to calculate a simulacrum of ordinary speech, and has it come out sounding awkward and revealing.

  • Domlicavoli

    he looks like the husband from People Under the Stairs. Honey I got em Wooooooooo

  • Carole Rhodus

    I have to say – even tho I was never really

  • Carole Rhodus

    Sorry, messed up. Continuiing – Romney doing this to that poor dog (and I had a setter in 1983 – beloved Kelly!) just a) can hardly believe this idiot AND his entire family did this, b) didn’t get stopped by the cops (can you believe you would be allowed to do this?), and c) this brainless twit thought it was ok for 12 hrs to subject the dog to this; then clearly LYING about the event, realizing how it may look when questioned by the press – tries to excuse this with “it was a totally air tight cage” – and THAT’s BETTER? Is Romney NUTS? or just heartless AND stupid?!

  • Nanci Little

    Here are the several stories. First, Romney was bragging that he did not lose any time on his tight schedule because he waited till they needed gas so he could fill up his car, hit the dog AND the car with a hose at the same time, the kids hit the bathroom, and they were on their way.. with a sick and now soaked dog still on top of the car for a very long cold ride at 65 mph on a TWELVE HOUR TRIP. This was not once… this was every time they went to Canada for a vacation! Which is why he says the dog jumped up happily to his ‘airtight’ kennel on top of the car.. Well, WHY was there a need for a ‘windshield’ (and what the hell kind of windshield could it BE … on the roof of the CAR?… if the kennel was airtight.. and how did diarrhea drip down the windows of the car if the kennel was ‘airtight’ and how could anyone continue driving with a dog up there SOAKED TO THE SKIN and SICK? It was also AGAINST MASSACHUSETTS LAW TO CARRY A LIVE ANIMAL ON TOP OF A VEHICLE..(as Chris Wallace informed him in that interview).. AND HE WAS THE GOVERNOR… yet said he did not know it was unlawful? How about immoral, cruel and STUPID. IF any kind of accident or evasive maneuver had happened.. a dog crate with a large dog in it bouncing off of the car and onto the road would put other drivers in great danger.. THIS man has good judgement? Enough to be Leader of the Free World? AND since he was a gazillionaire even back then.. he could not find a better solution if he did not want the dog in the car.. than THIS? BTW the dog was routinely picked up in his town, running loose, and had to be picked up at the local pound. A totally irresponsible pet owner, unneutered high energy Irish Setter running loose to be hit by a car or causing havoc in other ways.. SO Romney gave the dog away!

    • Nanci Little

      OH! And then answered questions about animal rights people abhorring his actions … and this is close to an exact quote… ‘PETA is upset with the fact my dog like fresh air’… Seriously… THAT was his answer.. Airtight cage that NEEDED a windshield, windshield removed, dog LIKE fresh air at 65 mph and traveled that way ALL the time! Illegal? Romeny told Chris Wallace he had NO idea there were hiway safety laws re: live animals. And he was Governor? OR running for Senate? Either way… he proves that he is FLAT OUT LYING TO THE PUBLIC, FIRST and FOREMOST, AND an IDIOT, SECOND!

  • Benny

    If it was Obama who did this all of you wuld be singing a different tune. Don’t people recall seeing dogs stick their heads and half their bodies out a car window and everyone laughs and chuckles about how cute that is? Well ROmney’s dog was in a carrier with a few holes and a windshield so he could see and enjoy the trip. It’s much nicer that he had protection from the wind rather than sticking his head out the window. you people are hypocrites. If a republican does something they are bad, democrat does the same thing they are a genius.

    • Oliver Starr

      Benny you’re an idiot. It’s hardly the same thing for a dog to willingly and occasionally stick its head out the window of a moving car and even then very few dogs will keep their head out a window at highway speeds. Even in a moderate climate there are few days (let alone nights) when it is warm enough that a 65MPH breeze won’t result in temperatures that are quite cold due to windchill. For a man with the money Romney has, it seems he could just as easily have rented a trailer that was safe and secure or – if it was too much hassle to have the dog safely in the vehicle he could have paid to board it.

      Either way Mitt’s treatment of animals should be more than enough for people to think carefully about his qualifications to be our President. And you should think carefully about what you right lest you look terribly foolish and insensitive as well as stupid.

  • ShakeWell

    Here’s what Howard Stern said about Ron Paul:

  • Kathy

    This is animal abuse . My dogs are my kids.. No damm way would I vote for anyone who abused a animal.

  • sternfanSnetwork

    howard stern is awful, and his opinion about anything should be discounted. His show sucks lately and he’s mailing it in. stop ripping off you fans Howard Stern

  • Amanda

    Someone should strap him to the top of a car soaking wet going 65 mph!!

  • Horseythyme1

    If it were airtight,how did diarrhea end up down the sides of the vehicle?

  • Lisa

    If it was a “completely air-tight”, doesn’t that mean he sealed the dog into a coffin?

  • Lisa

    He probably didn’t care if the dog died, it’s just another thing his money can buy him which is meaningless.

  • Pat

    EXACTLY, Kelly! What a stupid thing to say.
    Was personally never a fan of Howard Stern – but I know he is a big animal advocate, and he is right on the money here!!!

  • Anonymous

    Now Stern is saying we should support Romney……he just lost a long time listener, and I’m sure I am not the only one…nobody wants to be the dog on romneys roof!
    Should have backed Ron Paul Howard…. Now we see where your allegiances lie……big money!

  • Alex Worley

    He’s a fucking idiot. Jesus Christ, an air-tight kennel. For fuck’s sake America,get over your idiocy. I stand with Stern on this one. Fucking creep.

  • Patty Hundley Bickford

    Well, this changes my vote in the election. Guess I won’t vote for anyone.