A state representative in Tennessee has removed a video from her YouTube channel that showed her holding her dog outside the window of a moving car and laughing as it went “air swimming.”
State Rep. Julia Hurley took the video down two days after posting it, but insisted — sounding a little like Mitt Romney talking about Seamus — that Pepper, a Chinese crested, enjoys being held out into the wind, outside of a fast moving car.
Hurley, who’s seeking a second term, said she removed the video because she “didn’t want to deal with” criticism she calls politically motivated. “I think it’s a liberal ploy to take the attention off the bills and the legislation I’ve passed and the positive things I’ve done, to make me look like a bad person,” the Lenoir City Republican said.
The Knoxville News Sentinel reported that Hurley’s short video titled “Pepper Air Swims” was pulled two days after being posted on YouTube.
The newspaper wrote about the video after being contacted by the Rev. Peggy Blanchard, who criticized the video in an email. “I find Ms. Hurley’s behavior to be extremely unkind and irresponsible. While Ms. Hurley and her friend are laughing and having fun, the dog is clearly terrified.”
“This sort of behavior exhibited by a person who has a position of leadership sets a very poor example of behavior for both adults and children,” Blanchard wrote.
Hurley countered, “My dog obviously enjoys it. She’s very happy.” Still, she said, the backlash could lead her to stop posting social media updates.
“People say they want a legislator they can relate to, they want an open-door policy and know everything that’s going on,” she said. “But you try to give them that, and they use it against you to try to make you look like a bad person.”
Pepper was the subject of previous media attention when the lawmaker was thrown out of the Roane County courthouse for bringing her dog along in March. She argued that the 11-pound dog is classified as a service animal, though she brought the pet along as a companion.
Upon her election to the House in 2010, Hurley drew national attention for crediting her success to the time she spent working at Hooters restaurants, in a two-page article for the chain’s magazine.
She was the subject of another embarassing video, as well, when a state trooper pulled her over in 2011 for speeding, and a dashboard camera recorded the hard time she gave the officer about the ticket she received. Here’s that video:
(Photo: Erik Schelzig / Associated Press)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 20th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: air swimming, animals, car, car surfing, chinese crested, criticism, cruelty, dog, dogs, held, highway, highway patrol, hooters, hurley, julia, pepper, pets, representative, republican, road, romney, roof, seamus, speeding, state, tennessee, ticket, traffic, window
The San Marcos police chief has reprimanded the officer who delayed two college students as they tried to rush their dying dog to a veterinarian, the San Antonio News-Express reported today.
Officer Paul Stephens, who said, “It’s just a dog,” as, he held the pair beside Interstate 35, received an oral reprimand and counseling, Police Chief Howard Williams said Tuesday.
“We sustained the complaint that was filed,” Williams said. “We made him watch the tape with his supervisor and he was counseled on how to improve his performance.”
But Williams said he believed his officer’s assessment that the dog was not alive when he pulled over Michael Gonzales for going 95 mph on the highway after midnight Aug. 5.
Gonzales and his girlfriend Krystal Hernandez, both Texas State University students, were rushing their teacup poodle, Missy, from San Marcos to an all-night vet clinic in New Braunfels after the dog choked on her food and went limp.
The couple pleaded with Stephens to allow them to get the dog to the clinic and then turn themselves in later, or to let Gonzales stay and get his speeding ticket while Hernandez completed the trip alone. Instead, they were kept at the scene for almost 20 minutes waiting for Stephens to issue the ticket as he chatted with two other officers who arrived.
The students say the dog died while they waited.
Gonzales said Tuesday he thought an oral reprimand was not sufficient.
“That’s not really a punishment at all,” he said. “I don’t feel a person like that should be working in law enforcement.”