Tag: tampa bay times
The office of Florida Gov. Rick Scott has shed more light on what happened to Reagan, the dog the governor’s family rescued during his campaign.
Reagan, after his much publicized adoption, disappeared from public view when Scott took office.
The governor said last week that the dog — whose name had been chosen by his fans on Facebook — was returned to the grooming shop where his family got him, due to behavior problems.
The governor told the Tampa Bay Times that the dog never hurt anyone, but it turns out Reagan both barked and bit.
A spokeswoman for the governor said this week that Reagan was returned to the grooming shop after biting a governor’s mansion employee who moved his water bowl.
“The governor and first lady love dogs, and they had to make a hard decision when it was clear that Reagan was very anxious around lots of different people,” Scott spokeswoman Melissa Sellers said.
The dog bite occurred while the governor was in Orlando on Jan. 7, 2011 — three days after he took office.
Mansion grounds employee Jennifer Kinsey was arranging flowers when Reagan bit her on the right hand, according to an incident report released by Scott’s office. The injury required no medical treatment.
Scott introduced the yellow Lab to Facebook readers on Sept. 7, 2010, shortly after he won the Republican nomination. Facebook friends chose the name Reagan from a list of three choices suggested by the campaign and they praised Scott for adopting a dog.
Sellers said Scott flew Reagan back to Naples on his private jet to return him to All Pets Grooming and Boarding. The shop’s owner has told one television station that Reagan’s name has been changed to Pluto and that he now lives on a horse ranch in Collier County.
“The family decided that the best decision for the dog and all those who visit would be to have the grooming business find Reagan a more appropriate home with less people and activity,” Sellers said. “It was a hard choice that sometimes pet owners have to make.”
The Scotts have since adopted Tallee, another yellow Lab.
The governor’s communications directors initially refused to respond when asked about the disappearance of Reagan. Scott, when asked directly, said he returned the dog to previous owners because it barked a lot and frightened mansion staffers.
Sellers said Scott had been out of town and did not recall the biting incident when he talked to reporters.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 23rd, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopted, adoption, behavior, bit, bite, biting, campaign, communications, dog, employee, facebook, florida, governor, groomer, incident, mansion, news, pluto, problems, publicity, reagan, report, returned, rick scott, spokesperson, tampa bay times, yellow lab
Back when he was the Republican candidate for governor of Florida, Rick Scott and his staff did their best to let the public know his family adopted a rescue dog.
They even held a contest to allow the public to name the dog, who would become “Reagan.”
So, to some, it seemed strange that the Labrador retriever hadn’t been seen again since Scott took office, in January of 2011.
The Tampa Bay Times, albeit it two years later, finally solved the mystery — but not until after getting quite a runaround.
The Times last week asked both Scott’s current and former communications directors what happened to Reagan, but both refused to answer.
Brian Burgess, communications director during the campaign and for more than a year after Scott took office, told two Times reporters he thought it was strange that they would ask, and declined to answer.
When pressed, he referred all questions about the dog to Melissa Sellers, the governor’s new communications director. Sellers told reporters she was too busy to find an answer to the question.
A spokesman for the governor’s wife also declined to respond to questions about Reagan, saying only that they have one dog — a rescued 7-year-old Lab named Tallee.
What was the governor’s office trying to hide, reporters wondered. Why weren’t the communications directors, uh, communicating? And where was Reagan, the dog the Scott family made such a big deal about when they rescued him?
Commenters at the time praised Scott for getting a rescue dog, instead of a purebred like Bo, the president’s Portuguese water dog.
“The Scott family is proud to announce that the name (chosen by you) for their newly adopted pup is Reagan!” read Scott’s announcement on his Facebook page. “Thanks to everyone who participated in the fun contest.”
But apparently they were less proud to announce what became of Reagan, and how they ended up with a dog named Tallee.
This week, Times reporters were able to ask the governor himself, and learned that Reagan, due to behavioral issues, had been returned to the grooming and boarding business they got him from.
Scott said Reagan never bit anyone, but that he “scared the living daylights” out of people at the mansion. One kitchen employee threatened to quit because of the dog, he said, and photographer Eric Tournay was frightened when the dog “barked like crazy” every time he saw him with a camera.
“He was a rescue dog,” Scott said, “and he couldn’t be around anybody that was carrying anything.”
About a month after the family moved to the governor’s mansion, they gave the dog back to his prior owner, the governor said.
Tallee, he said, has a much different personality.
Based on his description, Tallee sounds more needy, submissive and controllable.
(Photo: Reagan, from Facebook)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 16th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopted, answers, avoidance, candidate, communications, contest, directors, disappeared, dog, facebook, florida, governor, labrador, naming, news media, politics, reagan, republican, rescue, retriever, rick scott, tallee, tampa bay times, whatever happened