Did Florida’s Governor, Rick Scott, Abandon His Dog, Reagan?

Cute dog lying on floor and looking up with big, soulful brown eyes.

Florida Governor Rick Scott’s former dog, Reagan. From his facebook page.

Remember when Mitt Romney infamously secured his Irish Setter to the top of his vehicle during a long road trip? (How could anyone forget?) Brace yourself for the next GOP “Dog Gate.”

Back in August, 2010, as his gubernatorial campaign was heating up, Tea Party darling and Florida Governor Rick Scott announced that his family had ‘rescued’ a Labrador retriever, and let his Facebook friends name it. This ultimately resulted in the moniker, Reagan, in honor of the late two-term President and beloved GOP icon, Ronald Reagan (though Scott’s politics have little to do with the half-way sane Republican politics of the Reagan years).

Republican dog fans were drooling over the altruism shown by Governor Scott – principally over the contrast between a rescue dog and President’s Obama’s purebred Portuguese water dog, Bo (who was given as a gift and was a preferable choice, due to daughter Malia’s allergies and the fact that Bo is a hypoallergenic breed).

But according to The Tampa Bay Times, neither hide nor hair of the dog Reagan had been seen in two years. This led to all sorts of conspiracy theories about what happened to the adopted pup, particularly since Scott’s office was so evasive about answering Reagan-related questions. After several days of persistence, Scott finally admitted that he gave the dog back to its previous owner shortly after rescuing it. Scott told the Times that, while the dog never hurt anyone, he “scared the living daylights” out of the mansion staff, and would bark “like crazy” every time he saw the personal photographer of Florida Governors, Eric Tournay, with his camera. Thus, he claims the dog was returned from whence he came, to All Pets Grooming and Boarding in Naples, Florida.

This begs many questions – why did Florida’s governor renege on what most animal lovers consider to be a lifetime commitment? Was he just using the dog for a campaign photo op? Why didn’t he hire an obedience trainer for the dog? Surely he had the resources to do so. And why was the dog returned in secret? Certainly there would have been many loving families willing to take on the popular pup. And why was his office so reluctant to speak of it? And where is the poor, unwanted Reagan today?

We here at Addicting Info are hoping Reagan is in a good home with a loving family more committed than the Scotts.