OK, so I caught a glimpse of Obama's speech today as I was headed out the door. One of the hot topics he addressed was his promise to adopt a dog for his daughters. In case you missed the speech, he mentioned that one of his daughters is allergic and they would have to find a hypoallergenic breed of dog. He eluded to the fact that mostly what could be found in shelters were mutts, to which he compared himself, and he left the topic hanging as to what exactly they would do. I shuddered to think that they would resort to purchasing a dog from a pet store or an irresponsible breeder, thereby condoning the whole puppy mill fiasco throughout this country. So, I went to Obama's website and submitted an email letter, voicing my concern and giving my suggestions. After I submitted my letter, I received this message:
We're receiving a large number of messages since the end of the campaign, and we ask for your patience as we try to respond to everyone.
It will be interesting to see if I get a response. If I do, I'll post it here for you all to read.
Here's my letter:
Dear President-Elect Obama,
I am writing because I caught a small portion of your speech on television today and what I heard you say regarding adopting a dog was disturbing to me. I have been in the animal rescue world for many years and I can tell you, sir, that you can indeed find purebred, "hypoallergenic" dogs in your local shelters. Even some of the mutts to which you refer may be predominantly one specific breed that is low on the allergen chain. In addition, there are breed specific rescue groups around the country where you can find any dog to fit your family's criteria.
Please, please, please do not choose to purchase a dog from a breeder or a pet store just because you feel there are no other options for your daughter's allergies. And please do not go back on your promise to your daughters simply because of allergies. Millions of allergy sufferers live in harmony with pets every day, myself included. From my brief research on the Internet, it appears there are approximately 14 breeds of dogs that are considered hypoallergenic, including Greyhounds, poodles, schnauzers and some terriers. I can assure that you would be able to find at least one of those breeds at a local shelter or through a rescue group.
As a former Greyhound mother, I would love to see a regal Greyhound added to the Obama family. As a matter of fact, Massachusetts just passed a bill to ban Greyhound racing by the year 2010, so there will surely be many retired racers looking for good homes, in addition to the ones currently waiting. I encourage you and your wife to research this issue very carefully and be a true example of hope and change by showing your daughters, and the American people, that adopting a dog from your local shelter or rescue group is a classy, compassionate and responsible thing to do.
Thank you for your time.