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AOC in trouble with PETA after proudly posting pics of her new purebred pup

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was called out by an animal rights organization for failing to set a proper “example” to her millions of social media followers.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals admonished the New York Democrat after she related that she had taken home a purebred French bulldog, calling her decision “disappointing” considering the many dogs “homeless in shelter cages waiting for homes.”

(Image: CBS screenshot)

PETA sent the freshman lawmaker a letter urging her to visit a New York City animal shelter in order to see the options she had in adopting a dog who desperately needs a home. The group also suggested that Ocasio-Cortez pledge to adopt another dog from the shelter, “or to adopt a second one now so that the two can keep each other company while she’s busy on Capitol Hill.”

“We really couldn’t believe our eyes, because you are a role model for how to live, so we understand that you just didn’t realize what you were doing in this case—you couldn’t have,” the letter to the lawmaker read.

“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 President Ingrid Newkirk said. “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.”

Ocasio-Cortez had introduced her followers to the new puppy earlier this week on Instagram, asking for suggestions for a name.

“He doesn’t have a name yet!” she wrote, though she never mentioned if the puppy was from a breeder. “We are thinking something Star Trek-related or Bronx/Queens/NYC/social good related.”

But Newkirk noted in the letter that “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.”

“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,” the letter continued. “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 had documented that she was “working really hard to socialize the pup to new environments, different people, travel, etc.” She also responded to one Twitter user who asked if the puppy would be joining her at work on Capitol Hill.

The congresswoman also shared how she was crate-training the puppy.

“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!” she wrote.

Newkirk noted in the letter to the Ocasio-Cortez that she was sending a “copy of the book Dogs Hate Crates, which explains why crate training is not humane or effective.”

Some Twitter users came to the congresswoman’s defense, telling PETA that they did not know the background.

Others, however, found the issue another example of why Ocasio-Cortez should not be seen as any kind of role model.

Frieda Powers


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