Sarah Palin’s dog should not be used as a step stool, according to animal rights groups.
Palin recently caused a huge online controversy by sharing a series of Facebook photos that featured her 6-year-old son, Trig, standing on top of a dog to reach the kitchen sink. As the Inquisitr previously reported, Trig has Down syndrome, and the dog in the photos is a service animal from the Puppy Jake Foundation.
Sarah Palin didn’t seem to see anything wrong with letting her son put his full weight on the pooch. Instead of removing Trig from atop the dog and holding the child up so he could reach the sink, she grabbed her camera and snapped a few photos of her son using his pet as a step stool. In a Facebook post that has gone viral, Sarah tried to spin the moment into an inspirational one. She praised Trig while criticizing the service dog for being lazy.
“Happy New Year! May 2015 see every stumbling block turned into a stepping stone on the path forward. Trig just reminded me. He, determined to help wash dishes with an oblivious mama not acknowledging his signs for ‘up!’, found me and a lazy dog blocking his way. He made his stepping stone.”
Unsurprisingly, animal rights groups were not pleased with Palin’s callous disregard for the safety of the service dog. Friends of Animals President Priscilla Feral told Politico that Sarah Palin was the one being lazy, not the dog.
“It’s no surprise to Friends of Animals that Sarah Palin is so insensitive she thinks a Black Lab should be tolerant of a child who isn’t told to not put his full weight on top of the dog’s back by standing on him,” Feral said in a statement. “How lazy of Sarah Palin not to move the dog out of the way and teach her child the right lessons.”
PETA President Ingrid Newkirk also issued a response to the photos.
“It’s odd that anyone — let alone a mother — would find it appropriate to post such a thing, with no apparent sympathy for the dog in the photo. Then again, PETA, along with everyone else, is used to the hard-hearted, seeming obliviousness of this bizarrely callous woman.”
Sarah Palin’s “stepping stone” Facebook post has generated over 20,000 comments since it was posted on January 1, and it’s sparked a huge online debate about whether Palin was doing anything wrong by letting her son stand on his dog.
“Much like the mother – stepping on living things to get higher up in life,” one commenter wrote.
“If that dog had bitten that child, then what would she have done?” another asked.
However, many Sarah Palin supporters saw nothing wrong with the photo.
“The dog is happy to help shut up,” one commenter fired back at Palin’s critics.
Another tried to defend the photo, but admitted that Trig was in a potentially dangerous situation.
“Unhappy people like to share their unhappiness by tearing others down. The Palin’s dog could have easily gotten up and hurt Trig but didn’t,” she wrote.
According to one of Sarah’s Facebook posts, the English black lab/stepping stool is named “Jill Hadassa Palin.” The dog joined the Palin family last summer.
Some might find it a bit odd that Sarah chose to use a dog in her New Year’s greeting. According to the Los Angeles Times, the former Governor of Alaska once criticized Barack Obama for featuring his pet pooch in the White House holiday greeting card. Fortunately, no one was standing on top of Bo Obama.
What do you think of Sarah Palin’s Facebook photos? Are they harmless fun, or did she put her pet and her son in danger by allowing Trig to use the unsteady animal as a step stool?
[Image credit: AP/Cliff Owen via Salon]