AP-PETSIDE.COM POLL TAKES ON THE FIRST DOG: AMERICAN PET OWNERS PREFER MUTT OVER PURE-BRED FOR FIRST FAMILY PUP

With the U.S. public speculating on the prospect of a new tail-wagging member of the First Family-elect, an AP-Petside.com Poll from the Associated Press (www.ap.org) and Petside.com (www.petside.com), a popular pet care and news site, reveals that American pet owners are partial to the Obama “Dog-in-Chief” being a mutt over a pure bred by more than a two to one margin (44% vs. 19%). Supporting that sentiment, the general U.S. public is also inclined to prefer a White House mutt instead of a pure bred (33% vs. 23%).

In addition, more than half (51%) of pet owners say it is critical that the “First Dog” hails from an animal shelter. In contrast, two out of five of all Americans (43%) say it is important to them that the Obamas adopt their new dog from a rescue organization.

“After a rich history of Presidential pure bred dogs, perhaps the White House should get ready for ‘change’ in the shape of a shelter dog. Rescued all-American dogs from shelters can be amazing pets. In addition, bringing a mutt into the White House would certainly promote that message,” said Victoria Schade, Petside.com contributor and expert dog trainer. “Nevertheless, if the Obamas choose to select a familiar breed because of Malia’s allergies, they still have the option of finding one through a rescue organization.”

According to the poll, party affiliation can also play a part in puppy preference, if you are a pet owner. Looking at U.S. pet owning households, those who are Democrats clearly favor a mutt (50%) over a pure breed (19%), while Republicans favor the mutt less strongly (39% mutt vs. 17% pure-breed).

There are also partisan differences among pet owners when it comes to the question of adoption from a shelter, with the majority of pet-owning Democrats (58%) responding that it is important, compared with just 43 percent of pet-owning Republicans.

However, in terms of the general U.S. population, preferences seem to cut across party lines, though Democrats feel more strongly about both issues than Republicans. Among all Democrats, 38 percent think the Obama puppy should be a mutt, compared with 32 percent of all Republicans. A quarter of Democrats (26%) say the pooch should be a pure breed, compared with 20 percent of Republicans.

The differences across the aisle are only slight when it comes to shelter adoption, with 45 percent of Democrats and 40 percent of Republicans agreeing that it is essential that the White House puppy come from a shelter.

The AP-Petside.com poll was conducted by GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media from Dec. 3-8 and involved landline and cell phone interviews with 1,000 randomly chosen adults and an over sample of 1,129 pet owners. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points for all adults and 2.9 for pet owners.

About Petside.com
Petside.com (www.petside.com) was created by NBC Universal, in partnership with Procter & Gamble Productions, Inc., as a comprehensive source of information and services that helps pets and their owners get the most out of life. Offering customized content and a highly personalized experience, Petside.com is ranked among the top 10 pet Web sites and offers unique editorial features, expert Q&A’s, tools and how-to videos.

About the AP:
The Associated Press is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world, to all media platforms and formats. Founded in 1846, AP today is the largest and most trusted source of independent news and information. On any given day, more than half the world’s population sees news from AP.

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