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“Dogs Against Romney” protest held outside Westminster Dog Show

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"Dogs Against Romney," a "super pack" dedicated to spreading the message that Mitt Romney is unfit to be president based on how he once treated his dog, held a half-hour protest today outside of NYC's Madison Square Garden, as Day 2 of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, the Super Bowl of dog shows, took place inside.

The demonstration only drew about a dozen protesters and a few dogs, but it was covered by numerous media outlets. The group's raison d'etre should be familiar to political junkies and dog lovers by now. As first reported by The Boston Globe in 2007, and later recounted in the book The Real Romney, Mitt Romney, on a family trip from Massachusetts to Canada in 1983, put his Irish setter, Seamus, inside a crate strapped to the roof rack of his car. Seamus stayed there for the entire twelve-hour duration of the journey, reportedly soiling himself at one point. "Dogs Against Romney" today refer to the incident as "Crate-Gate."

"Dogs Against Romney" was founded by an Alabama marketing specialist named Scott Crider, and has a website, DogsagainstRomney.com, as well as a popular Facebook page. The group claims not to have any political-party affiliation, although a message on the site shows they support "Pet Lovers for Obama." The group's feelings are pretty well summed up by an animal lover named Steve, who said, "He [Romney] clearly doesn't understand his own dog. I just don't see how any dog could enjoy being on top of a car for that long."

Romney is clearly not Michael Vick, but it will be interesting to see if the issue continues to have legs as the presidential race heats up. SNL had some fun with the subject in their opening skit over the weekend, and the love for animals certainly arouses intense emotions. (On a somewhat related note, I'd like to give a shout-out to Banana Joe, the affenpinscher who easily won his breed on Day 1. I know Beckham the black cocker spaniel will have something to say about it, but I expect Banana Joe to be standing in the silver bowl at the very end. Go get 'em, Joe.)