Candidates overlook power of pets

By Chelle Delaney: Freedom New Mexico

The presidential race is becoming so competitive candidates are asking for their children’s help.

John Edwards, for example, has been bringing his two kids, Jack, 7, and Emma Claire, 9, on the campaign trail with him.

Hillary Clinton persuaded her daughter, Chelsea, 27, to accompany her while campaigning in Iowa. Described as “press-shy,” Chelsea issued a statement: “I’m happy to be here.”

Anyway, the presence of children is obviously an attempt by the candidates to power up campaigns that haven’t been helped much by so-called “debates.”

But they’re forgetting about a key weapon in their campaign arsenals: They have not brought their pets into the campaign.

Which of our presidential candidates is more pet friendly?

Neither the Republican nor the Democratic candidates have brought the situation up. Yet, it’s a question of some importance to almost two-thirds of the country’s households.

Those are the people who have and love their pets, their cats, their dogs. To those people their pets are important; they feel their pets are members of the family.

But their concerns aren’t just about their own pets; they are concerned with the problems faced by other pet owners and the problems faced by the pets themselves.

All across the country, these people have formed organizations to tackle various troubling problems — homeless pets, feral cats and dogs, the rescue of individual breeds, justice for pets.

But they need to consolidate all those pro-pet organizations to form a new independent political party.

The Pro-Pet Party.

Dealing with the war, immigration, health insurance, and the like are important, yes.

But our pets are right in two-thirds of the nation’s homes (the homes of two-thirds of the nation’s voters).

Let us find out which candidate of which party is the most pro pet, which of these many candidates really understands the needs of the nation’s pets and the nation’s (voting) pet owners.

Who should question these candidates? Should it be the head of the Humane Society of the United States? Or the head of The American Kennel Club?

It could be both. But, most important, the questions posed to the candidates should be the result of a competition between pet owners.

Let us challenge the nation’s pet owners to come up with the questions that will best challenge the candidates on the subject of pets.

We could call it the Pro-Pet Question Competition, or PPQC.

The PPQC and the succeeding pro-pet debate would certainly produce results of great importance to the majority of the nation.

And, after the debate, we could publish a pro-pet Q&A. And with the Q&A will be photos of each of the candidates … with his or her pet prominently in the picture … so we can decide that most important question: Which candidate’s pet should be The First Pet of the Nation?

Chelle Delaney is associate publisher of the Quay County Sun. She can be reached by calling 461-1952 or by e-mail: