Beware of the Dog-Napper

Every political candidate knows not to upset cat-lovers. Now we get a chance to find out how powerful dog-lovers are. It seems that GOP Attorney General candidate Pam Bondi, recent recipient of the coveted Sarah Palin primary endorsement, has a dog problem:

As Bondi runs for attorney general, bitterness over dog lingers:

… Bondi may be best known for a custody battle over a St. Bernard.

Her 16-month fight with the Louisiana family that lost the dog after Hurricane Katrina played out on CNN, Fox News and the pages of People magazine. Then a Hillsborough prosecutor, she accused the family of neglecting the dog. Steve and Dorreen Couture and their two grandchildren wanted their dog back and resented Bondi for keeping him.

Ultimately, the Coutures had to file a lawsuit to get their dog back, and the case settled only just before it went to trial. The terms of the deal were confidential, but Bondi agreed to give the St. Bernard back to the Coutures, and supposedly offered to provide the dog with food and medication for life. Plus she was said to have promised to visit the dog occasionally. The Coutures said they would keep in touch with Bondi and send her dog photos.

But three years later, the Coutures have little good to say about their former foe. Moreover, they say, she never kept her promise.

“She was going to take care of him for the rest of his life and supply him with food and medicine,” Dorreen Couture said recently from her rebuilt home in New Orleans. “She did for the first few months. After that, she was supposed to have her first visitation that September and she canceled.”

Contact dwindled after that, Couture said. And the Coutures didn't reach out to Bondi, either.

“Why should I?” Couture said. “She stole my dog.”

This is the sort of anecdote that can define a candidate. Remember Mitt Romeny's Cruel Canine Vacation? Now the meme may be Pam Bondi 'stole my dog'.

What I want to know is whether people in dog suits will dog her campaign appearances…

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