Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) is getting outside help for his reelection bid from an unlikely source: the Humane Society Legislative Fund.
The political arm of the animal welfare advocacy group is launching a TV ad in Louisiana praising Vitter for having "one of the strongest records in the country" on its issues.
"He worked to strengthen the criminal penalties for dog fighting and cockfighting," the announcer says. "And Vitter is leading the effort to crack down on abuse at large-scale puppy mills."
The ad's closing line: "Sen. David Vitter: the character to fight cruelty."
The group is spending about $400,000 on four ads in total. In addition to Vitter, it's airing spots for Reps. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) and Betty Sutton (D-Ohio).
Vitter's Democratic challenger, Charlie Melancon, has made the senator's character a central issue in the campaign.
--Updated at 2:33 p.m.