On Thursday, PETA slammed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, calling her out for not being a good role model.
According to PETA, she could have set a great example for her millions of social media followers by choosing to adopt a rescue dog from a shelter. Instead, the New York Democrat chose a purebred French bulldog.
PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said in a letter: “AOC had a chance to set a compassionate, responsible example in the face of the homeless-animal crisis, but instead, she apparently inadvertently contributed to the problem. PETA is urging her supporters not to follow her lead in this case and to stick up for the underdog by choosing to give a lovable mutt a new lease on life.”
Earlier in the week, AOC posted the yet-to-be named Frenchie in an Instagram story, but did not confirm the breed or state whether she purchased the dog from a breeder.
“He doesn’t have a name yet!” she said in one Instagram story, and asked for suggestions. “We are thinking something Star Trek related or Bronx/Queens/NYC/social good related.”
While some of AOC’s followers focused the animal’s cuteness and shared images of their own dogs, Newkirk was not amused.
“French bulldogs are inbred in order to produce ‘breed-specific traits,’ which cause health problems that many people who will be influenced by your purchase won’t be able to afford to address,” the letter read.
Newkirk added: “With the millions of homeless dogs out there, you apparently chose to buy a purebred puppy instead of adopting one from an animal shelter. Right this minute, on Petfinder alone, there are more than 110,000 dogs – including French bulldogs – who need homes. Animal shelters are bursting at the seams with hundreds of thousands more, many of whom will be ‘put to sleep’ for lack of a home.”
Ocasio-Cortez revealed on her Instagram story that she was crate-training the dog: “He’s good about his crate when we are right next to it, but he’s such a velcro pup that at night he whimpers if he’s not right next to us. We’re working on it!”
In response, PETA stated it was sending AOC a copy of the book “Dogs Hate Crates” to explain “why crate training is not humane or effective.”
“We’re asking that you please be a part of the solution to ending the cat- and dog-overpopulation crisis and consider setting the right example for your millions of followers by adopting a mutt and encouraging them to do the same,” Newkirk’s letter concluded.