Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's treatment of his dog, Seamus, drew about a dozen protesters and their dogs to picket outside the Westminster dog show on Tuesday, The Associated Press reported.
The half-hour demonstration by Dogs Against Romney in front of Madison Square Garden took issue with a now-infamous Romney story. The Presidential candidate was traveling with his Irish setter on a family vacation in 1983 when he put the dog inside a crate and strapped it to the roof of his car for the duration of the 12-hour drive from Boston to Ontario, the AP reported.
The protesters held signs that said "Mitt is Mean" and "Dogs Aren't Luggage" and "I Ride Inside."
"Putting a dog in a crate for car travel is the first step toward responsible dog ownership," American Kennel Club spokeswoman Lisa Peterson said in response to the Romney anecdote, according to the AP. "The second step would be to put that crate in a car."
The issue has received media interest since the Boston Globe reported it in 2007, according to the International Business Times. The Times speculated that Tuesday's Dogs Against Romney protest had more journalists than actual protesters, including reporters from The Huffington Post, The Associated Press, and The New York Times.
"The protest is sponsored by Dogs Against Romney and will seek to focus more public attention on the fact that Romney forced his dog to ride for 12 hours on the roof of his car and even coldly hosed the dog down with water after he became ill and frightened, soiling himself - before driving for hours more - all while Romney's luggage rode inside the car," the group said in a press release Monday, according to The Hill.
Protest spokeswoman Kitty Hendrix said that Dogs Against Romney has about 25,000 members online, the AP reported.