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WUSF News Staff
Tue January 15, 2013
Where's Reagan, Gov. Scott's Rescue Dog?
Where is Reagan, a Labrador retriever that once belonged to Gov. Rick Scott?
Scott adopted the seven-year-old Labrador during his 2010 campaign for governor.
Supporters at the time made a big deal about how this was a “rescue dog” and not a purebred, like President Obama’s dog, Bo.
But today, questions were raised about what happened to Reagan. Reporters asked Scott about the dog after a meeting with the Legislative Black Caucus.
“He was the sweetest dog you could imagine,” Scott said in a video posted by News Service of Florida. “But when he got in the mansion, he did not like everybody carrying things around.”
“He barked loudly at people. So we gave him back to his prior owner,” Scott said.
The Tampa Bay Times reports that a spokeswoman told them Reagan was returned about a year ago to All Pets Grooming and Boarding, a business in Naples.
Channel 10 in Tampa adds
Reagan was returned to the folks at All Pets Grooming in Naples, which was where the Scott's daughter first found the now-former first pet.
"Sometimes dogs don't fit right. I mean, they did try," said All Pets' owner Kelly Norman.
Norman thinks the Scotts did the right thing. They even hired a professional trainer, she says, but it just didn't work out.
Reagan, who's gone back to his original name of Pluto, was quickly re-adopted, she says, and is again living a dog's life on a horse ranch.
"I really don't think it had anything to do with him becoming Governor at all," said Norman, when asked about the political timing of Reagan's adoption.
Former Scott spokesman Brian Burgess told the Times he was working on an answer to the questions about Reagan.
He hinted that nothing short of proof of life would prevent the "PR nightmare if the Tampa Bay Times doesn't receive a photo of Reagan next to today's copy of the Tampa Bay Times.
"So take it to the bank I'm getting you every bit of info I can lay my hands on.''