Friday, December 28, 2007

Target much?

We didn't avoid tragic dog-related incidents in 2007. There was enough bad news to keep Karen Delise very busy with her in-depth research on the circumstances that add up to tragedy.

One reporter in Killeen Texas decided to do his own expose of dogs in the news today. The Vick story was his perfect (unrelated) opp to rehash one family's horror, and spin it into a year end review on pit bulls. He tossed in some dog-on-dog anecdotes and wove in some irrelevant news about distemper to spice things up. Apparently disease is scary too, although it's not clear if we're blaming the pit bulls for that....

'Pit bulls played a big part in local, national news'

Really? And why is that?

Let's be kind and call it an oversight, but his research side-stepped these sad Texas tragedies in 2007:

- German Shepherd & Doberman Kill Woman - Lower Valley TX
- Golden Retriever & Australian Shepherd Kill Woman
- Friendswood, TX

- German Shepherd Severely Mauls Boy - Alice TX
- German Shepherd Attacks Woman - Lubbock TX
- Golden Retriever Attack - "The worse bite ever seen" - Dallas, TX

Are these bad breeds? Hell no. Randall Lockwood, a senior VP of the ASPCA reminds us in Malcolm Gladwell's classic article: "A fatal dog attack is not just a dog bite by a big or aggressive dog. It is usually a perfect storm of bad human-canine interactions - the wrong dog, the wrong background, the wrong history in the hands of the wrong person in the wrong environmental situation."

I couldn't help myself and wrote to the Killeen Herald news team, reminded them of their oversights, and put in a plug for less targeting and more bite prevention articles in the new year. (Please join me.)

Let's hope they bite.


Mac`s Gang said...

Wouldn`t it be great if every newspaper would print an educational tip or link to a reputable source on dog bite prevention.
I don`t see any point in printing stories about dog bites unless you`re going to use that story to try and educate people,in order to prevent similar incidents.
Only then would the news stories about dog bites have some value.

Donna said...

Wouldn't that be great? It makes too much sense.

jenny said...

I'll write!
Today this (link below) appeared in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune, and if anyone's interested, they could use some encouragement in publishing more stories like it, especially in light of the breed ban about to hit our legislature.

Mac`s Gang said...

I saw this story and it`s so heartwarming.
I`ll write also.
My Pit used to go visit my Dad in a nursing home.All pets of residents were allowed to come in but only my Pit was allowed to go around and visit all the other residents.
When I asked the staff why,they said "the others are a little snarky,we just don`t trust them totally"
They were every breed imaginable.
Mac did encourage "criminal" behaviour though.The residents would "pocket" an extra cookie off the treat tray for him the night before his visit.
In todays climate,I doubt that he would be allowed in.(This was 6 years ago.)