As a dog lover, I was saddened so to hear of the death of Barney, one of the beloved pets of former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush. If you have dogs, you know that losing them is traumatic. That’s bad enough, but for the Bush family, they also have to deal with the grandstanding of PETA, which has chosen to try and grab publicity simply because the Bush family is in the public eye.

“In the best of homes, animal companions are family members, and nothing is more difficult than losing a loved one,” Newkirk said in a release. “We are urging President and Mrs. Bush to consider saving a life by adopting from their local government shelter, where dogs await a loving family like theirs.”

As someone who donates to a no-kill shelter, I appreciate PETA’s desire for shelter dogs to be adopted. No argument there. However, show some compassion and class and let the Bush family deal with the loss. If PETA truly cared about Barney, its leaders wouldn’t use him as a prop.