Four-legged friends are finally getting their say as voting for the next U.S. President continues at Total Pet Care, 3240 Briarfield Blvd., Maumee. As of Friday afternoon, the majority, 45 percent, were undecided.
The boarding and veterinary care facility has set up a miniature voting booth for canines. Faces of both candidates are on mats on the floor and a treat is placed on each mat. The dog's vote is registered according to which treat it picks first. A sign near the voting area reads: "Let your dog's palate be the ballot."
Dogs who pass up both treats are registered as “undecided.”
“Knowing dogs, you wouldn't think that would ever be the case, but we are seeing a majority of dogs walk away from the treats,” said Dan Shook, the owner of Total Pet Care.
Such was the case with Mickey, a black chihuahua. He sniffed at both treats and walked away without eating either one.
“I think he was just ready to go home,” said his owner, Jeanette Laskey of Maumee, who boards the small dog daily at the facility and related what had happened Thursday when he was invited to vote. “He ate both of them once he got in the car.”
Currently, Mitt Romney leads with about 32 percent versus President Barack Obama's 23 percent. As of Friday afternoon, 22 dogs had cast their votes.
Gabby, a gray weimaraner sporting an Ohio State Buckeyes leash, also seemed oblivious to the treats on Friday. His owner, Elaine Hill, of Toledo, led him past the two mats several times, but he was more interested in Emma, a calico cat, who was keeping guard over the election area from the cat boarding area behind a wall of glass.
Voting will continue through Election Day, Mr. Shook said. The owner of every dog who votes receives a coupon for a free night of boarding which can be used between Jan. 3 and Feb. 28. Mr. Shook said besides having a little fun with the election, which many people are tired of hearing about, he hopes to bring in some clients during what is normally a slow time of business, after the holidays.
“We're having a lot of fun with it, but there's also a very serious message,” said Mr. Shook, referring to a sign over the voting area that says “Every Dog Gone Vote Matters.” "We hope that all of our clients go to the polls and vote, no matter which candidate they choose."
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