Fact Check: Did Ted Cruz Leave His Dog Snowflake Home Alone During Trip to Cancun?

Twitter was abuzz on Thursday as photos circulated of Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) boarding a flight to Cancun, Mexico, while millions of Texans were without water, heat or electricity during a winter storm.

After hours of speculation, it was confirmed that Cruz was on the trip.

Cruz said he flew there for the night to drop off his daughters on a trip with friends. He later called the trip "a mistake."

"With school canceled for the week, our girls asked to take a trip with friends. Wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with them last night and am flying back this afternoon," Cruz said in a statement.

"My staff and I are in constant communication with state and local leaders to get to the bottom of what happened in Texas. We want our power back, our water on, and our homes warm. My team and I will continue using all our resources to keep Texans informed and safe."

The New York Times later reported that leaked text messages showed Cruz's family was planning to stay in Mexico and invited friends to join them. Cruz's wife, Heidi, asked in a group chat of friends and neighbors if anyone wanted to go somewhere warm for the week and detailed the family's plans to stay in Cancun. She also described her house as "FREEZING."

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. pic.twitter.com/TmLyGQkASy

— Michael Hardy (@mkerrhardy) February 18, 2021

The Claim

Twitter erupted, as users mocked the senator and called for him to resign for flying off on vacation as Texans suffered.

Amid the noise, Houston-based journalist Michael Hardy drove to Cruz's home to confirm if he had lost power. He posted a photo of Cruz's dog, Snowflake, looking through glass in the front door.

This led many people online to accuse Cruz of leaving his dog alone in their "freezing" home.

Snowflake the dog is only the latest victim of Ted Cruz's selfish behavior. https://t.co/Scp7JvcQXd

— Gabrielle Levy 🤦🏻‍♀️ (@gabbilevy) February 19, 2021

The Facts

Hardy wrote a story for New York Magazine detailing his trip to the Cruz home.

From the street, Hardy said the "mansion looked dark and uninhabited" and a neighbor informed him that the block had lost power before finally getting it back late Wednesday night.

"The senator's story appeared to check out," he said.

At about 1 p.m. CT Thursday, Hardy heard barking and saw a small, white dog looking out the bottom right pane of glass in the senator's front door. "Had Cruz left his dog behind?" he wrote.

He approached the house to knock on the door and a man stepped out of an SUV parked in the driveway. The man said he was a security guard and confirmed it was Cruz's house and that the senator was not home.

"When asked who was taking care of the dog, the guard volunteered that he was," Hardy wrote. "Reassured of the dog's well-being, I returned to my car. Before leaving, though, I took a photo of the house from my car window, making sure not to include the house address."

Hardy also tweeted that Cruz could have brought the dog back from Cancun with him or left Snowflake in the care of a family member.

A spokesperson for Cruz told Newsweek that the dog never was in danger.

Just confirmed @SenTedCruz and his family flew to Cancun tonight for a few days at a resort they've visited before. Cruz seems to believe there isn't much for him to do in Texas for the millions of fellow Texans who remain without electricity/water and are literally freezing. pic.twitter.com/6nPiVWtdxe

— David Shuster (@DavidShuster) February 18, 2021

"Contrary to the liberal media's reports, Snowflake was not left alone and was never in peril, unlike the thousands of senior citizens in New York," the spokesperson said.

The Ruling

False.

Cruz's dog, Snowflake, was not left home alone.

Ted Cruz Checks in for His Flight
Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) checks in for a flight at Cancun International Airport after a backlash over his Mexican family vacation as his home state of Texas endured a winter storm on February 18, 2021, in Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Cruz has faced strong criticism for the trip. MEGA/GC Images/Getty Images