A Man, a Dog, and a Lawless 12 Hour Journey

Posted by Lisa Franzetta, ALDF's Director of Communications on July 13, 2012

Dog lovers across the political spectrum have been barking mad all election season over the now-infamous tale of Mitt Romney’s family road trip with his Irish Setter, Seamus, strapped to the roof of his car. The Animal Legal Defense Fund’s new infographic about Mitt’s very own “Crate-Gate” depicts not only the down-and-dirty details of Seamus’ terrifying 12 hour trip–it outlines the anti-cruelty laws in each of the jurisdictions the Romneys passed through that would clearly prohibit such a rooftop journey. As Lanny Davis wrote for Fox News, “This is the ultimate Purple Issue — it cuts across Republicans, Democrats, blue states, red states, liberals and conservatives.”

Thanks to Nancy Mendoza at Datagram for creating this infographic! She can be contacted at mendoza@datagramdesign.com.

Download a high-resolution version of this infographic for your blog or website.


21 thoughts on “A Man, a Dog, and a Lawless 12 Hour Journey

  1. Dan says:

    Wow, speechless at this.

  2. Ema says:

    too cheap to pay for boarding? too dumb to know any better? whatever the excuse, this is horrendous. ann romney compares it to riding a motorcycle? and who enjoys a straight 12 hour trip with diarrhea dripping down their legs?

  3. Becca says:

    Some of the laws listed here are only relevant if we all agree that Seamus was considered to be tortured. The family was clueless, sure, but they were not intending to torture the dog. I recently read about a case where a teen tied explosives to a cat and watched while the cat helplessly ran for its life while one fire. THAT is torture. What Mitt did was irresponsible, stupid and against every shred of common sense for someone who considers their animals to be members of their family. I am disgusted by the way Mitt treated Seamus and the example he set for his boys. But he is not a monster; just uneducated about proper animal care. Do I want him leading our country if he has this little common sense? No, not really. But if we animal people vilify every person who does something stupid with their animals rather than take the opportunity to care for the injured animal (if the mistake is recent) and educate the “owner” about better ways to care for their animal companions in the future, we only further the separation of us vs. them and lose our chance for helping facilitate change.

  4. Dr. Dan says:

    The part that makes me cinch up is the result of the stress induction. Milt may have been ignorant to this fact. But as a judge told a friend of mine, “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.” If he plays this sordid shit ‘n’ hose game with the dog, a family member he knows is defenseless; what then would he do with our people, humankind, our world? It causes one to shudder, just as he caused that poor dog who had no recourse as Romney and his goofy wife transported those poor kids and that poor dog down the rocky highway of life with Mitt!

  5. TrevEB says:

    This document is very informative an well illustrate. However it not very print friendly unless you intend to make it poster size. Not a bad idea.

    For spreading the word, it would be helpful to do something similar as I have done.
    Copy the Document into Word, then print to PDF.

    It fits very nicely on to 3 pages.

    Please consider providing a 3 page PDF document to your readers.

  6. A Wilson says:

    This article is a vilification of a very practical man who meant no harm. I’m surprised that this is an issue because I see a lot of dogs who happily ride with their heads out the window of vehicles all the time. Torture is not the right word. And since there don’t seem to be any repeated accounts of this happening, it seems a lesson was learned.

    I find the detailed illustrations of the Romney family to be particularly disturbing, especially the obviously obscene intimations of the illustration of Mr. Romney hosing the dog clean. “Winning the case against cruelty”—I guess cruelty towards people is OK on this site?

  7. Holly Henderson says:

    So far as I know, not one member of the family has said s/he regretted it, it was wrong, and s/he would not do it now. That’s incredible. The arrogance of believing they can do no wrong makes me shudder at the prospect of a presidency.

  8. Blake Christensen says:

    Cool infographic! There’s a video game now you can play where you are seamus the dog: http://seamus-the-dog.com

    You can even poop on Mitt’s car during the game.

  9. Ken Nors says:

    To be fair, the statutes you cited have been amended several times since 1983. To determine if this conduct was illegal you would not only need to look to the statutes as they were at the time these events took place, but you would also need to refer to the contemporaneous standards of care and understanding of the terms used. Also, I believe you might be in violation of these same statutes for beating a dead horse.

  10. Karin says:

    Horrible! I hope to god he dosnt have any more pets and is NEVER allowed to! And HES running for president??? NOT getting my vote! Can he still be punished?

  11. Meechity says:

    “This article is a vilification of a very practical man who meant no harm.”

    • Practical in a robotic, mathematical manner: yes. Perhaps Mitt set out thinking the dog would be just fine, but once he saw obvious harm/distress was being caused to Seamus, he did NOTHING to rectify the situation. That is intentional harm.

    “I’m surprised that this is an issue because I see a lot of dogs who happily ride with their heads out the window of vehicles all the time.”

    • That is the dog’s choice, as he may pull his head in at any time.

    “…since there don’t seem to be any repeated accounts of this happening, it seems a lesson was learned.”
    There was never any admission of a lesson learned; in fact Mitt claimed no ‘mistake’ was made.

    “I find the detailed illustrations of the Romney family to be particularly disturbing, especially the obviously obscene intimations of the illustration of Mr. Romney hosing the dog clean.”

    • Active imaginations will see suggestive imagery in everything from clouds to slices of toast; no visual artist is safe.

    “”Winning the case against cruelty”—I guess cruelty towards people is OK on this site?”

    • No idea what this refers to? Cruel as in: artistically misrepresenting the Romney family?

    That vile ghoul of a man will *never* represent me.

  12. charley bednarsh says:

    It’s painful to envision this helpless dog being strapped in a crate to the top of the car! Perhaps someone needs to teach Mr. Romney about the concept of empathy….however, Mr. Romney’s lack of empathy towards his family pet seems to be consistent with the alleged incident of Mr. Romney’s bullying a fellow student in high school because he the student was gay…. the Romney’s claim that Mitt loved to play pranks as a kid, and excuse this gender bias bullying as a misguided prank. I dread the thought of a president who lacks empathy and compassion for all living things.

  13. chris says:

    Gracious, the luggage and such could have been stuffed into the crate, or affixed to the top of the vehicle and the dog could have ridden in comfort with his family. “Family member, luggage, what should we tie to the top of the car?” Duh.

  14. Corinne says:

    Has anyone in the summer heat been thoroughly and suddenly hosed with cold water? Believe me it is a shocking experience and one I would not like to experience again. I would never put a pet in a circumstance where I could not see its demeanor and any possible traumatic effects to its well being. Its only common sense.

  15. Lisa J says:

    I could not agree more with the majority of comments on this page. One thing I have not heard anyone here or in the media mention is the fact that it must have been a delightful experience for an obviously stressed dog to be hosed down and then placed back in the kennel (was the kennel hosed down too? I’d hope so), wet, to be subjected to ceaseless 65mph or greater wind. I bet that is a rather chilly experience when your fur is wet.

    Also, wsa there no consideration that the luggage could be placed on top of the car and the crate in the cargo area?

    I was undecided before, but this example makes “out of touch” a gross understatement. He lost me even considering him as leader.

  16. Anne Compagnon says:

    Abusers are everywhere…but this man received the best on education,manners,ethics.

    That man should serve in jail or better yet, build a cage and place the ugly man in the cage and then put it on a trailer so he knows what being abused is like.

    This man does not deserve to be the next President.

    May this man have many,but many bad times in the White House if he becomes the next President.

  17. Diane M. says:

    Shouldn’t the smallest son have been in the second row for safety also? I agree with most of the comments made here, especially concerned about the wet dog exposed to the wind after already being distressed on such a long trip. He doesn’t see his family, as far as he knows he has been abandoned, trapped in a crate with no relief from the sun and wind and not knowing when this situation will ever end. He has no one to communicate with to stop so he can relieve himself.

  18. Vanna says:

    Very cruel, I hope americans dont make him the next president.

  19. Naja Post says:

    Wow, I hadn’t heard this story before! Before anyone asks, I stay as far from politics as possible and the mudslinging I run from.

    This is so sad on so many levels and brings back a horror from my own childhood. I cannot wrap my head around the reasoning behind putting a live animal into a wind tunnel, with no possibility of escape, and saying he “enjoyed it”. My God, the least they could have done was block the wind!

    I worry about his intelligence if he’s thinking this would be a good idea. What a jerk!

  20. Zbig says:

    Mitt Romney is innocent of cruelty to Seamus by reason of insanity. Of course that precludes him from running for President, but what the heck.

  21. Chrism says:

    This guy is supposed to be smart and also interested in doing “good” as per the mormon faith. He comes off as a very stupid and uncaring man. 12 hours in 70 mph wind. The he wets the poor dog down and keeps going after the dog crapped himself from the stress. This is unbelievable! This guy would fit in nicely with the Nazi’s.

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