A photo of Sarah Palin's young son standing on a dog to reach the kitchen sink is drawing sharp reaction.
The image of 6-year-old Trig, presumably preparing to wash dishes, and the reclining and seemingly relaxed black Lab-type animal is posted on the former Alaska governor's Facebook page.
"May 2015 see every stumbling block turned into a stepping stone on the path forward. Trig just reminded me. 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," she wrote. Trig was born with Down syndrome.
The online response to the one-time Republican vice presidential nominee's New Year's Day post was fast and at times furious.
There were nearly 70,000 responses liking the photo along with a wide variety of comment.
Some blamed Palin, her politics, or called it animal mistreatment. Others offered her support and said the dog would have moved if it had been hurt.
The president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals commented Saturday, the Oregonian reported.
"PETA simply believes that people shouldn't step on dogs, and judging by the reaction that we've seen to Sarah Palin's Instagram photo, we're far from alone in that belief," Ingrid Newkirk said.
Palin responded in a Facebook post: "Dear PETA, Chill. At least Trig didn't eat the dog."
She also gave an extended response to NBC News, saying that, "Our dogs aren't the only ones dearly loved — we have been overwhelmed by good people all across America sending us proud pictures of their kids interacting with dogs in similar loving, real life ways."
See the full statement here.