WASILLA, Ala., Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Facebook photos of Sarah Palin's 6-year-old son using the family dog as a step stool sparked online outrage, with some calling the incident animal abuse and scoffing at her parenting skills.
Alaska's former governor posted her New Year greeting with pictures of her son Trig, who has Down Syndrome, standing on the black Labrador's back to reach the kitchen sink. The dog seems unfazed as the child leans into the sink.
"May 2015 see every stumbling block turned into a stepping stone on the path forward. Trig just reminded me," she wrote. "He, determined to help wash dishes with an oblivious mama not acknowledging his signs for "up!", found me and a lazy dog blocking his way. He made his stepping stone."
The photos drew an immediate response online, including from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
"It's odd that anyone -- let alone a mother -- would find it appropriate to post such a thing, with no apparent sympathy for the dog in the photo," PETA said in a written statement.
By midday Saturday, the post received nearly 66,000 likes and 22,000 comments, both defending and attacking Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee in 2008.