August 23, 2013

While I wish the first family and its new addition, Sunny, every happiness [“Obamas get new dog,” Style, Aug. 20], the president has missed an opportunity to advance the cause of animal welfare.

Because the Obamafamily’s second dog, like its first, Bo, came from a breeder, the family has disregarded the huge number of healthy shelter animals that are not adopted each year, estimated at 2.7 million by the Humane Society of the United States. It may be slightly more difficult to find a specific breed or a hypoallergenic pet in a shelter, but it certainly can be done. My dogs SoHo (a miniature poodle mix I got through the Washington Animal Rescue League) and Fifi (a Lhasa apso mix from K9 Lifesavers) are proof.

I am glad the Obamas gave a donation to the Washington Humane Society in Sunny’s honor, but the positive example of a homeless dog moving from a shelter to the White House would have been worth a lot more.

Jeanine Poltronieri, Washington