Animals & Money: The All-American mutt

The Obama family has officially announced that they'll be getting an all-American mutt -- or at least a rescue dog. After Barack Obama and his wife Michelle made a public promise to their daughters to get a dog after the elections, animal groups got really excited. Since the Obamas don't have pets now, it seemed likely they could be swayed into one of the warring dog camps: those who buy purebreds and those who rescue mutts (and also purebreds) from shelters.

The American Kennel Club launched an online poll asking which breed they should purchase. More than 42,000 people voted and they chose the poodle, with the wheaten terrier coming in second. The AKC had narrowed the field down to breeds that don't cause allergies because one of the Obama girls is allergic to dogs. (And I think the poodle won because the other breeds were either small, creepy or both (like the Chinese Crested, which is mostly bald.)

Meanwhile, 50,000 animal lovers signed a petition from the Best Friends Animal Network, urging the Obamas to adopt a shelter dog. That doesn't necessarily mean they're getting a mutt. According to the Humane Society of the United States, about one-quarter of dogs in shelters are purebreds.