Does Donald Have a Pet? What About the Others?

03/09/2016 03:44 pm ET Updated Mar 08, 2017

Among Donald Trump's new lines, we now often hear "Marco Rubio couldn't get elected dog catcher in Florida." As someone who has proudly been a humane officer and an animal control officer I should point out that these are typically not elected positions, but that in turn made me want to look at The Donald's (and his competitions) own pet status. Do these folks live with animals?

According to the internet, always a reliable source of information, Donald Trump both has a pet (a dog named Spinee) and does not have a pet. Somehow, that all seems very right to me.

And say what you will about Ted Cruz, while such words as "cute" and "fluffy" would hardly apply to him that does describe Snowflake, the family dog. Marco Rubio's family includes a Shih Tzu named Manna. John Kasich does not live with animals, but he gets big points from me for signing into Ohio law a bill which allows cats, dogs and other pets to be included within the scope of protection orders obtained by victims of domestic violence, keeping offenders from threatening or interfering with victims' pets

Ben Carson has lived with dogs (Echo, a German shepherd, his favorite) and a salamander named Newt (uncertain if related to Gingrich) but recently stated that his busy lifestyle did not allow the time for a pet. That, of course, has now changed. Chris Christie keeps goldfish, which for some reason strikes me as especially funny. Jeb Bush's black lab, Marvin, was evident in his 1998 successful Florida run for governor, but since his passing there have been no additional pets in the home. Carly Fiorina has a pair of Yorkies named Max and Snickers.

Hillary Clinton, while First Lady back in 1998, authored Dear Socks, Dear Buddy, an anthology of letters from children sent to presidential pets Socks (a tuxedo cat) and Buddy (black lab). The Clintons today live with Seamus (Buddy's grand-nephew), Talley (a poodle), and a mix-breed named Maisie. Bernie Sanders recently mentioned that he is not a guardian of a companion animal. (Actually, he said he doesn't have a pet but I thought the more "San Francisco" version of that sentence would be appropriate.)

Honestly, I'm not sure if any of these folks are really animal people. All I can say is that the recent debates have been so loud that even my mostly deaf, elderly dog Frida gets up off the couch to leave the room when they air.