San Francisco dog lovers form PAC

October 3, 2011 7:35:06 PM PDT
San Francisco politics is going to the dogs, literally. Dog lovers are organizing to promote the interests of their pets, especially keeping park land open for them to run off-leash.

Take a walk in one of San Francisco's picturesque parks and it won't take you long to notice there are more dogs there than children. Now dog lovers have formed a political action committee (PAC) to promote the interests of their four-legged friends.

With an estimated 100,000 dog owners in the city, Dog PAC could have a major impact in the November election.

"Dogs are as much an issue as children, and you know, there are a lot [of] parent-teachers associations, we're just like them, but only for the dogs," said Dog Pac president Bruce Wolfe.

"All different people and all different industries have lobbyists and political action committees looking out for them," said dog owner Justin Kleisley. "I think it's good for dogs."

"There are many interests that are aligned against the rights and privileges of pet owners, so to counter that we have to be organized," said dog owner Sanford Johnson.

The voter block is not going unnoticed in the city's political circles.

"Nothing is unusual in terms of political activism here in San Francisco," said San Francisco mayoral candidate Dennis Herrera. "We have a lot of dog owners here in San Francisco and they are very passionate, and the issues that come up are very serious."

The big issue that has owners on edge is a proposal to close down a park land where dogs are allowed to run off-leash. Environmentalists say the dogs threaten native plants and animals. Others are concerned about the risk of dog attacks.

But owners say properly trained dogs should be allowed to run free.

"There are some dogs that need to be on a leash," said Wolfe. "It's really more about the handler -- the people on the other side of the leash that really need the leash."

And in case you're wondering, Bruce Wolfe is the real name of the Dog PAC's president.

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