Author who featured Obama in dog book feels betrayed by president
Although there are plenty of people who have fallen in love with Bo, President Obama's new Portuguese Water Dog, there are others who aren't that happy. (If you aren't up to speed yet on the president's new dog, click here).Skip to next paragraph
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Count Dr. Jana Kohl in the not-happy group. She and many other animal welfare activists feel betrayed by President Obama's decision to renege on a campaign promise to adopt a dog from a shelter or rescue center.
But to Kohl it's personal, because she featured the president in a book to promote adoption rather than the purchase of dogs through breeders.
The author of "A Rare Breed of Love," Kohl wrote the story of her poodle named Baby who she rescued four years ago. Baby not only had her vocal chords removed with scissors but lost a leg due to the years of abuse at the hands of a breeder.
So outraged was she at Baby's story, she decided to write a book calling attention to puppy mills.
Her strategy was to get people with a microphone to appear in the book. So she set off to Capitol Hill and Hollywood where she found plenty of supporters. People like Paul Harvey, Steven Tyler, Bill Maher, Jim Cramer, and a host of politicians – Republican and Democrat.
One of those politicians that agreed to meet with her was then-Senator Obama. Touched by Baby's story, he then agreed to a photoshoot and, according to a press release promoting her book, pledged to Kohl that when he brought a dog home for his family, it would be a rescue dog – not one from a breeder.
So, this weekend's announcement that the president opted to accept a puppy as a gift from Senator Ted Kennedy (via a breeder) and not to go to a shelter or rescue center has left Kohl upset.
"I feel like he's made a mockery out of the book and the things I wrote about him," Kohl told the Vote Blog. "I read what I said about him and it makes me cringe."
Kohl said that his decision is not only heartbreaking for her, but destructive because of what she sees as the domino effect.
"This will fuel the breeding industry which will fuel the puppy mill industry, which will increase homeless dogs at shelters, and increase the numbers of dogs euthanized every year," she said.
"To add insult to injury, during these tough economic times it is incredibly insensitive and elitist of them to do this, " she said. "People are tearfully turning in their pets to shelters because they can't afford them anymore. We see it on news all the time.
"How can they be so out of touch?" she asked.
What about the fact that the president will donate to the DC Humane Society to make up for it?
"That's baloney," Kohl said. "It's farcical. They're donating money to urge people not to do what they did."
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