Sarah Palin Criticized Over Facebook Photo of Son Stepping on Dog

2012-28 Town Sarah Palin P

Now that she's a media personality in addition to being in the political game, Sarah Palin no longer has to dress in particularly dignified clothes. Nor does she have to pay for them, apparently.

Photos of Palin's son using their dog as a step stool caused controversy online

Sarah Palin started the new year with a little controversy after photos of her son Trig using their dog as a "stepping stone" caused a backlash.

Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee in 2008, shared photos to her 4.5 million Facebook followers of her son Trig, who has Down syndrome, standing on their dog to reach the sink. Palin took a moment to announce the action as a learning lesson for America and praised her son for not letting their dog get in the way of moving forward.

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"May 2015 see every stumbling block turned into a stepping stone on the path forward, Palin posted on her Facebook page. "Trig just reminded me. He, determined to help wash dishes with an oblivious mama not acknowledging his signs for 'up!' found me and a lazy dog blocking his way. He made his stepping stone."

The photos have generated over 50,000 likes and over 14,000 comments from users, with many slamming Palin's parenting.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) tweeted president Ingrid Newkirk's response to the photos, saying, "Odd that a mother found it appropriate to post that, w no sympathy for the dog."

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Palin responded to PETA's criticism on Facebook stating, "Dear PETA, Chill. At least Trig didn’t eat the dog." She continued in a lengthy post where she criticized the group as "anti-beef screamers blogging hate from your comfy leather office chairs."

Palin also shared a photo of a child standing on a dog that Ellen Degeneres posted on Facebook in July 2014. Degeneres was named PETA's Woman of the Year in 2009.

"Hey, by the way, remember your “Woman of the Year”, Ellen DeGeneres? Did you get all wee-wee’d up when she posted this sweet picture? Hypocritical, much?"

"Yeah, you’re real credible on this, PETA," added Palin. "A shame, because I’ll bet we agree on what I hope is the true meaning of your mission – respecting God’s creation and critters"

Newkirk has since issued a statement in response to Palin's post and wished her family a happy 2015.

"PETA simply believes that people shouldn't step on dogs, and judging by the reaction that we've seen to Sarah Palin's Instagram photo, we're far from alone in that belief. Palin's Facebook response shows us that she knows PETA about as well as she knows geography. Yes, we campaign against the Iditarod because when the dogs aren't being driven—sometimes to death—most live chained or inside cages for their entire lives. And we're a vegan organization, so we sit on pleather couches, wear stylish vegan kicks, and consider fish friends, not food.... We have no reason to believe that the Palin companion animals aren't ordinarily pampered, and we wish the entire family a peaceful and humane 2015."

According to Politicoanimal rights group Friends of Animals president Priscilla Feral said in a statement, "It’s no surprise to Friends of Animals that Sarah Palin is so insensitive she thinks a black Lab should be tolerant of a child who isn't told to not put his full weight on top of the dog's back by standing on him. How lazy of Sarah Palin not to move the dog out of the way and teach her child the right lessons."

Jan. 3 at 7:30 p.m. Updated with responses from Palin and PETA.