Why Twitter Is Seeing Red Over Ted Cruz's Dog, Snowflake

Sen. Ted Cruz is in hot water this week, at a time when millions of his constituents would settle for any water at all. In the midst of Winter Storm Uri, which overwhelmed the state's power grid and left millions without heat and electricity, the senator flew to Cancún with his wife and daughters. His "good dad" explanation and his apologies for the lapse in judgment (via CNN) didn't do much to quell the flood of criticism, nor did pal Donald Trump Jr.'s attempts to defend him on Twitter. (It didn't help that Trump tried to pin the blame for the disaster on Texas' "Democratic Governor." )

Now, a new twist in the story is stirring up even more outrage. Houston journalist Michael Hardy drove by Cruz's house on Thursday afternoon and saw the senator's small dog looking out from behind the glass-paneled front door. He tweeted, "Just drove by Ted Cruz's house in Houston. His lights are off but a neighbor told me the block got its power back last night. Also, Ted appears to have left behind the family poodle." As the dog yapped, Hardy talked to a security guard parked at the house, who confirmed that the senator wasn't home and that he had been left to care for the dog. He also unearthed a 2014 Facebook post of Cruz's identifying the dog as a rescue pup named Snowflake. 

Hardy wrote up his observations for New York Magazine, and now the internet is angrier than ever.

People slammed Cruz for leaving his dog in a cold house

Even with the guard to watch over the pup, the fact that the dog had been left behind at all was shocking. Ted Cruz's wife, Heidi, had invited her friends to come to Mexico with her, saying their house was "FREEZING" (via The New York Times). Hardy remarked, "The poodle's name appears to be Snowflake. Which is probably how it felt being left behind without heat in subzero weather." He added that the power had since gone back on in the house, but it could just as easily have stayed off for days — and that Sen. Cruz had originally planned to stay away till Saturday.

The reaction on Twitter ranged from humorous — Photoshopping Bernie Sanders and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Hardy's picture  — to horrified. Many accused Cruz of animal abuse and suggested a call to the local SPCA; others remarked that Cruz was treating his dog as poorly as he did his constituents. Keith Olbermann tweeted, "Okay, NOW I'm pissed. That seditious liar @TedCruz left his dog — looks like a Maltese or a Bichon, not a poodle — in the 'freezing' house while he went to Cancun." There was lots of speculation about the care Snowflake was getting — was the security guard doing anything to ensure the pup was warm? Or was there a housekeeper inside who might also be feeling the cold? 

The senator's office has not yet responded to Hardy's request for comment. We're also waiting for official word from Snowflake.