Saturday, May 26, 2007

In The Dog House: WDIV & WXYZ TV

This past week has been National Dog Bite Prevention Week. (See post below.) What a wonderful opportunity to educate the public on how best to treat or respond to dogs so as to avoid personal injury.

However, our ABC and NBC affiliates instead, every night this week, chose to sensationalize dog bite injuries by running week long campaigns on "vicious dog" attacks. Instead of educating people, they chose to do this:
  • Have your reporter stand next to a fenced yard and say "Thank God this dog is behind a fence." The dog is a collie and snooping for something in the grass, with its hind-end facing the reporter.
  • Have a cameraman stare down a pit bull, until the dog lunges at the camera. Lesson? Look how vicious dogs can be if all you do is look at them. (Why bother to say "don't continue eye contact with dogs that are scared or dominant or are strays.)
  • Take your leashed dog for a walk (don't bother teaching it to walk properly on-leash) past a yard with an unleashed dog that barks but never leaves its yard. Call the unleashed dog vicious. (Don't bother to say that it's protecting its territory or that it's trained well enough to not leave its yard, or that it just appears to be "talking" to the dog passing by.)
It's sad that a so-called "news" program would prefer to provoke animals and strike fear into otherwise unknowing individuals. It's sad that they would choose to report news in a negative manner that essentially hurts all concerned, rather than in a positive manner that would essentially help all concerned. It's sad that their attitude encourages the riddance of dogs rather than encouragement of education and proper human behavior.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Conversation appreciated. Ours is a big world, with big opinions; please be respectful.