lawmaker removes video showing her dog dangling outside car

Tuesday , March 18, 2014 - 1:46 PM


A brief YouTube video linked to Tennessee state Rep. Julia Hurley showing a small dog being dangled outside a moving convertible has been removed from the Internet, two days after it was posted.

The video, titled "Pepper Air Swims" shows the small dog being out the passenger window, its front legs moving in the air, as two people laugh in the background.

The faces of neither person are shown in the video, which was removed from YouTube Monday. Only the forearms of the person holding the dog are seen. The video was posted to the freshman lawmaker’s YouTube channel under the user name "repjuliahurley."

Hurley, a Republican seeking re-election, owns a Chinese crested, a hairless breed of dog that she named Pepper. She drives a BMW convertible.

Hurley, 30, who has credited working at Hooters with helping to prepare her for public office, didn’t return repeated calls and emails seeking comment Monday.

A Roane County, Tenn., resident blasted the video Monday.

"I find Ms. Hurley’s behavior to be extremely unkind and irresponsible," the Rev. Peggy Blanchard stated in an email.

"While Ms. Hurley and her friend are laughing and having fun, the dog is clearly terrified," wrote Blanchard, who is an Episcopal priest.

"This sort of behavior exhibited by a person who has a position of leadership sets a very poor example of behavior for both adults and children."

Hurley and little Pepper were the focus of a Roane County Courthouse incident in March.

Roane County Executive Ron Woody saw the 11-pound dog on a leash in the courthouse hallway and asked security personnel to remove the lawmaker and her dog.

Before declaring the issue off-limits and declining to discuss it further, Hurley told reporters she objected to the treatment she received from courthouse personnel.

The incident prompted Roane County officials to draft policies pertaining to animals in the courthouse.

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