Critter Corner: How Presidential Candidates Stack Up When it Comes to Pets


Dear Angel, 
I am a pet lover who is undecided about who to support for president. Do you know where the candidates stand when it comes to animals? 
Kat Endogg-Luverr 
Dear Kat,
Now this Is an important issue, especially when it comes to cats!
In a nutshell, here is the information I was able to find on each of the top presidential candidates, when it comes to animals, from research conducted by Barkpost:
Donald Trump: Trump has never held public office.  There is no record of him every doing anything in favor of or against animals.  Although both of his sons are trophy hunters, he is on record as saying he doesn’t understand their activities and doesn’t support hunting.  However, he tweeted some disparaging comments on the Ringling Brothers Circus decision to retire their elephants early: “Ringling Brothers is phasing out their elephants.  I, for one, will never go again.  They probably used the animal rights stuff to reduce costs.”
Marco Rubio: Senator Rubio has a dismal average Humane Society Legislative Fund (HSLF) rating of 12 (out of 100) for his voting record in the US Senate, although he did co-sponsor a bill to make “soring” a crime. Soring is a painful technique to make a gaited horse lift his feet as high as possible.  It is a cruel and painful process.  Senator Rubio’s campaign website does not address animals at all.
Ted Cruz: Senator Cruz’ HSLF rating is even lower. His average for the three years he has served in the Senate is a 4 (out of 100).  The only piece of legislation that he supported that was in an animal’s best interest was a vote against allowing hunting in the National Parks. His campaign website does not address animals at all.
John Kasich: Governor Kasich has a mixed record as far as animal welfare issues go.  He signed into law a tough anti-puppy mill bill and a bill protecting pets in the event of domestic violence, but he did nothing to address factory farming, and some Ohio residents feel that he dragged his feet before signing the bill outlawing exotic animals (big cats).  Although he does not address animal welfare issues on his campaign website, overall Governor Kasich has the best record of any Republican candidate.
Hillary Clinton: When Secretary Clinton was a US Senator, she had an excellent rating with the HSLF, even getting 100+ one year. Her average for her 4 years in the Senate is a 92.  She voted for a positive outcome for animals almost every time. Since she left the Senate, she has little opportunity to influence animal legislation.  Her campaign website does not address animal issues at all.
Bernie Sanders: Senator Sanders has the most extensive record of any of the candidates. His average HSLF rating over 11 years is 97 out of 100, and there were multiple years he scored 100 and twice when he scored 100+.  The only time I can find a vote that can be deemed not to be in an animal’s best interest, is a vote Senator Sanders made to support hunting in the National Parks.  Senator Sanders has devoted an entire page on his website to his stand on animal welfare issues. 
How a candidate stands on animal-related issues cannot be the sole measure of who to vote for, but it does allow us a glimpse into what is personally important to each candidate.  It is one piece in the puzzle of who should be the next president!
Hope this is helpful!
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About Renee Eder

Renee Eder is the Director of Public Relations for the Farr Law Firm, and gives the voice to the Critters of Critter Corner. Renee’s poodle, Penny, is an official comfort dog who she and her children bring to visit with seniors who are in the early stages of dementia at a local senior home once a month.