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Obama family puppy should come from shelter, poll says

  • Story Highlights
  • By 2-to-1 margin, poll says Obamas should rescue an animal from a shelter
  • President-elect said puppy selection has generated intense interest on Web site
  • Family needs to select a dog that won't aggravate family's allergies
  • In CNN-Opinion Research poll, Labrador retrievers top the list with 13 percent
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Americans' picks for a potential first puppy vary widely, but a CNN poll out Tuesday finds broad support on one aspect of the incoming Obama family's decision.

By a 2-to-1 margin, those surveyed in the CNN-Opinion Research Corp. poll said the Obamas should rescue an animal from a shelter rather than buy one from a breeder or pet store to put in the White Doghouse.

President-elect Barack Obama promised his daughters, Sasha and Malia, a puppy if he won November's election.

After the vote, he said the question of what kind of dog had generated more interest than almost any other topic on his campaign's Web site.

Obama said the family wanted a breed that was safer for people with allergies and preferred a shelter dog.

They should have no trouble finding one: The American Humane Association says about 7 million animals end up in shelters every year.

Those polled suggested more than 70 breeds as candidates for the Obamas. Labrador retrievers topped the list with 13 percent, followed by mutts -- mixed-breed animals -- and poodles at 9 percent.

Seven percent suggested terriers, 6 percent each backed German shepherds or golden retrievers, and all other breeds made up 3 percent. And the public was split over whether the girls should get a male or female, with males drawing 48 percent support and females 47 percent.

Of the 1,096 people polled December 1-2, 44 percent said they own a dog. Another 44 percent said they have owned a dog in the past.

The survey had a sampling error of 3 percentage points.

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