Animal lovers get political

Climate change, schlimate change; with the election just six weeks away, why is nobody talking about the critter factor? Barack Obama, it turns out, doesn’t own a single pet; the McCains, meanwhile, have two dozen animal companions dotted around their seven homes, including a spaniel, a black-and-white cat, two turtles, three parakeets and a ferret. Perhaps it’s unsurprising, then, that America’s animal lovers appear to be in the tank for McCain: a recent AP poll gave the Arizona senator a five-point lead among pet-owners, thanks in part to a commanding lead among dog-lovers.

Now, though, the Humane Society is trying to change that math: for the first time in its history, the organization has thrown neutrality to the wind and announced its endorsement for the US presidential race. The lucky candidate? “The Obama-Biden ticket is the better choice on animal protection,” says Humane Society Legislative Fund president Mark Markarian. “We urge all voters who care about the humane treatment of animals, no matter what their party affiliation, to vote for them.”

Obama has certainly earned the Humane Society’s endorsement, backing more than a dozen major animal-protection laws in Springfield and Washington; this year, he even agreed to pose in front of the Lincoln Memorial clutching a three-legged poodle to promote a campaign against puppy mills. Obama’s running mate, Joe Biden, also gets the thumbs-up from the HS, thanks to his work on legislation requiring tuna fishermen to go dolphin-friendly and his successful effort to ban the trophy hunting of exotic mammals in fenced enclosures.

McCain also has a pretty solid record on animal rights, having worked to end the slaughter of horses and to cut federal funding for the mink industry; it’s his moose-hunting running mate, Sarah Palin, who really lets the side down. She’s fought to keep polar bears from receiving protection as an endangered species, and waged a one-woman war on Alaska’s wolves, encouraging hunters to shoot the animals from helicopters and offering them a $150 bounty for each severed forepaw they bring back.

“She has perhaps done more harm to animals than any other current governor in the United States,” says Markarian. “If Palin is put in a position to succeed McCain, it could mean rolling back decades of progress on animal issues.”

In fact, Palin’s influence may already be making itself felt: this weekend, McCain is scheduled to speak to a rally of the US Sportmen’s Alliance, a group that supports the trophy-hunting of polar bears. Pets or no pets, it could be that the GOP ticket won’t be attracting too many animal lovers this time around.

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maybe someone could help me, i am trying to find out where does it say that the police while chasing someone can go into a backyard and kill an unarmed family member (a dog) it happened again here in las vegas Mr. Cassell a cop (the name officer is not for a person who shoots defenseless animals)claims he felt threatend by a pitbull in its owners backyard.first if the dog was dangerous dont you think that they would of known that the person they were chasing was not in that backyard because the dog would be attacking the person being chased. so why go into that yard and shoot the dog if the person was not in that backyard. what gives them the right to go into someones private property and kill a family member. please help

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