LAST CALL: White House finally goes to the dogs

As we enter the last month of presidential campaigning, we are0 all getting just a little fed up of front pages full of the latest scandals, gaffes, claims and counter-claims. So what better way to bring some zing than by introducing a dark horse - or, perhaps, a dog?

Putting a non-human in the White House may not strike many as the brightest idea, but the San Francisco branch of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals think it's a fine plan.

In a press release titled 'Tired of the White House going to the Dogs?

Send a Dog to the White House,' the SPCA introduces its canine contender, Teddy. 'There are still a couple of legal hurdles our lawyers are working on,' says press secretary Tracy Pore. 'For one thing, the Constitution says the president has to be at least 35 years old, and Teddy is only four.' (Even in dog years, that's only 28).

Teddy's election does have a serious side. The SPCA is trying to raise awareness of the hundreds of thousands of cats and dogs killed each year because homes cannot be found. The group is paying owners dollars 5 to get their pet neutered.

His platform is simple: 1) more (pet) adoptions, 2) more spay/neuters and 3) fewer euthanasias. 'He not only stands on his platform,' says Pore, 'he'll also sleep on it.'

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