'Dogs Against Romney' Hounds GOP Hopeful Outside Westminster Dog Show (Poll)

The group is angry about Mitt Romney putting his Irish Setter in a crate on top of his car for a 12-hour road trip in 1983.

Does how a man treats his dog reveal his character? More specifically, does it signal his ability to lead the free world as president of the United States?

Dogs Against Romney protested the GOP presidential hopeful ouside the Westminster dog show in New York on Tuesday (Feb 14). The group is angry about Mitt Romney’s treatment of his dog during a 1983 road trip.The group was created 2007 when a story came out about Romney putting his Irish Setter, Seamus, in a crate strapped to the roof of his car for a 12-hour trip from Boston to Romney’s vacation home in Ontario, Canada.

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The press release about the protest included a quote from the “founder” of Dogs Against Romney, a dog named Rusty: “I’m sure everyone who attends the Westminster dog show will agree: Dogs are not luggage.”

Seamus’ story has been a recurring issue during this year’s GOP presidential campaign. Romney insists his dog enjoyed traveling on top of the car and lived to a ripe old age.

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But Politicker reported two of Mr. Romney’s sons had an off-record conversation with reporters where they revealed the dog ran away when they reached their destination. Mitt's oldest son, Tagg Romney, also noticed a "brown liquid running down the rear window.” Mitt pulled over at a gas station, hosed off Seamus and the car, returned the dog to his rooftop crate, and got back on the road.

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Romney’s camp has remained mum on the sons' version of the story. The politician wasn't at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show Tuesday but he was hosting a fundraiser at the nearby Waldorf-Astoria hotel in Manhattan.

Several dogs helped about a dozen humans protest on Tuesday, a relatively small turnout. But DAR’s Facebook page has 27,000 Facebook likes. And yesterday a  spokeswoman for the American Kennel Club added more bite to DAR's campaign.

"The AKC promotes responsible dog ownership. Putting a dog in a crate for car travel is the first step toward responsible dog ownership," the AKC's Lisa Peterson said in a statement. "The second step would be to put that crate in a car."

Another Dogs Against Romney protest is scheduled prior to Romney's fundraiser luncheon at the Grove Hotel in Boise, Idaho on Friday (Feb. 17) at 10:30 A.M. 

Tell us: Would you vote for a candidate who put his dog on the roof of a car for 12 hours?