Democratic candidate for Governor Philip Levine blasted his Republican opponent, Adam Putnam, for scheduling a fundraiser at the home of a man who a decade ago shot two dogs that wandered into a pasture.
While murdering dogs is abhorrent, the former mayor of Miami Beach probably should have thought twice before attacking Putnam on the issue.
On Thursday morning, Levine tweeted: “Disgusting! Silence is not an option, @adamputnam. @HumaneSociety @peta @petallianceGO @petstrustmiami #sayfie #flapol”
After the outcry, and with little explanation, Putnam’s campaign canceled the event Thursday at the home of Christopher Comins.
Comins, an Orlando businessman, caused a stir in 2008 after a video became public showing him shooting two pet huskies that wandered into a cow pasture.
As reported by the Tampa Bay Times, a judge acquitted Comins of animal cruelty charges in 2011; he argued the property owner gave him authority to shoot the dogs to protect cattle.
It’s clear Levine respects animal welfare (a really good thing), but as Miami Beach mMayor, he was not quite as observant with his own canine companions (or the laws of Miami Beach).
According to the Miami-Dade Clerk of the Court, Levine received more than a dozen citations for various animal-related infractions, including failure to vaccinate against rabies (2011, 2013 and 2018) and failing to obtain a license for both intact and sterilized dogs (2013, 2014 and 2018).
One of the violations — failure to vaccinate — occurred in November 2013, the same month Levine was elected mayor.
The violations, 13 in all, are as follows:
— Failure to Vaccinate Animal Against Rabies (November 3, 2011)
— Failure to Obtain License Tag for Intact Dog (October 24, 2011)
— Failure to Vaccinate Animal Against Rabies; failure to obtain license tag for intact dog (January 21, 2013)
— Failure to Vaccinate Animal Against Rabies (August 19, 2013)
— Failure to Vaccinate Animal Against Rabies (November 18, 2013)
— Failure to obtain license tag for sterilized dog; failure to obtain license tag for intact dog (February 3, 2014)
— Failure to obtain license tag for sterilized dog (March 13, 2014)
— Failure to vaccinate animal against rabies (September 25, 2017)
— Failure to obtain license tag for sterilized dog (January 16, 2018)
— Failure to vaccinate animal against rabies; failure to obtain license for sterilized dog (February 5, 2018)
It is indeed praiseworthy to champion animal welfare, but it may not have been the wisest thing for Levine to tag the Humane Society (and other organizations) — especially when his own history on the subject is somewhat lax.