Mitt Romney - Seamus
In June of 2007, the Boston Globe ran an article as part of a series on Governor Romney. The article was intended to show Governor Romney's ability to handle a small or large crisis without panicking. The author described a 1983 trip that Mitt Romney took with his family as a yearly vacation to Ontario, Canada from Boston, Massachusetts. The 12 hour trip was taken in a Chevy station wagon that only had room for the family and their luggage. The family dog - an Irish Setter named Seamus - was placed into a carrier the Romney fitted with a windshield, and the carrier was then strapped to the top of the car.
During his trip, the dog had a bowel movement that Mr. Romney was forced to address by hosing off the top of the car. Despite the article's intention to show a lighter side of Governor Romney, the incident created backlash from PETA and similar groups who claimed that it was cruel and unusual treatment.
Late in the 2008 campaign, Governor Romney was interviewed by Fox News and asked about the incident. Governor Romney noted that with 5 children and a great deal of luggage in the car, the dog was likely more comfortable on the top than inside. He stated that the carrier was "air tight" and that the dog entered the kennel on her own and enjoyed the trip. The interviewer pointed out that the action was likely in violation of laws against transporting animals on the roof of cars, and Governor Romney stated that he was unaware of any law relating to the matter.
The image of Seamus below was supplied by Jane Romney. The image on the right is from a Boston Globe article and shows the vehicle with Mr and Mrs Romney around that time frame.
Reaction from PETA
Not long after the original story aired, a Time magazine article cited a reaction from Ingrid Newkirk, president of the group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. That response likened Romney's treatment of Seamus to "torture."
In the case of the dog on the roof of the car, if this is true, quite remarkably it obviously wasn't for show as only his own children were watching, a lesson in cruelty that was also wrong for them to witness. If you wouldn’t strap your child to the roof of your car, you have no business doing that to the family dog! I don't know who would find that acceptable.
Fox News Interview
In an interview on Fox News, Governor Romney was asked about the incident. He responded by stated that the dog was a beloved pet who would often sit on the car on her own. He asserted that she enjoyed the ride.
 Website: Time.com Article: Romney's Cruel Canine Vacation Author: Ana Marie Cox Accessed on: 08/23/2012
 Website: The Boston Globe Article: Introducing Seamus Romney, 'Mr. Personality' Author: Scott Helman Accessed on: 08/23/2012
 Website: The Boston Globe Article: Romney dogged by animal cruelty charge Author: Scott Helman Accessed on: 08/23/2012