Published January 15, 2013
The mystery of what happened to Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s rescue dog has been solved -- the Labrador Retriever, it turns out, was given away.
Scott, a Republican, made headlines after announcing he and his family adopted the Lab during his 2010 campaign. Named Reagan – after the 40th president of the United States – the Scotts’ pet pooch apparently ended up being more Cujo than Lassie and “scared the living daylights” out of people in the governor’s mansion.
"He was a rescue dog and he couldn't be around anybody that was carrying anything, and so he wouldn't get better," Scott said, according to the Tampa Bay Times, adding that one kitchen employee threatened to quit and photographer Eric Tournay was frightened when the dog "barked like crazy'' every time he saw him with a camera.
The first family of Florida quietly traded in Reagan for another rescue dog, 7-year-old Tallee. But two newshounds from Tampa Bay pressed the issue and discovered Reagan was returned to his owner one month after helping soften Scott’s image during his gubernatorial race.
After winning the GOP bid in 2010, Scott announced via Facebook that his family had rescued the dog and with help from his Facebook friends, named the dog Reagan.
Thousands commented on Scott’s pick congratulating him for picking a rescue instead of a purebred like White House’s top dog, Bo, the Portuguese water dog President Obama adopted in 2009.
The Scotts gave the dog back to his prior owner, Scott said, about a month after the family moved to Tallahassee. The governor's office on Monday told the Times it was trying to find Reagan and its new family.