This type of shitty reporting PISSES ME OFF.

This article just went up a while ago.  It’s supposed to be about the lack of funding at the Brownsville Animal Regulation and Care Center, and how their shelter is too tiny to deal with the number of animals they take in.  They only have one employee to take calls—about 100 a day—and send out the ACOs (animal control officers). They need more funding, more officers, more vehicles, a much bigger facility.

Texas is known for some truly horrifying animal euthanasia rates.  A few years ago, the Rio Grande Valley had the honor of being #1 in the nation, euthanizing about 30,000 animals a year due to severe overcrowding.  San Antonio was #3.  And according to the article, “Animal rescue groups estimate that there are now 42,000 cats and 36,000 dogs, strays and pets” in Brownsville alone.  To this day, we still have no low cost spay/neuter clinic.  Also, though it’s getting better, it’s still very embedded in the local culture that spaying and neutering is wrong/cruel.

Major stuff.  Major issues that need to be presented to the community.

But how does the article begin?

BROWNSVILLE — The commotion began under Michelle Cano’s truck. She had heard loud barking in the driveway while feeding her cats, and when she checked beneath her vehicle, she saw what looked like two pit bulls attacking her neighbor’s cat.

Cano ran inside and triggered the car alarm from her garage in an effort to scare the animals away. She even shot at one with her 10-year-old son’s pellet gun and called the police.

But it was useless, Cano said — the dogs mauled the milk-white feline then moved into her front yard, where they mangled the family’s two gray-striped kittens. She and her son could only watch from a bedroom window.

“It was the worst thing you could possibly ever see,” her son, Dalton St. Romain Cano, wrote in his journal later that evening. “It was like you were in a nightmare or a horror movie.”

Yup.  They started with a sensational pit bull attack—the name of the shelter and the focus of the article aren’t even mentioned until the 5th paragraph.  Not only that, but the article leads the reader to believe that they were strays out on the prowl for their next victim.  If the city just had more funding and more manpower, these evil, stray pit bulls would not be on the streets terrorizing innocent people and killing fluffy kitties!  Only later in the article is it revealed (in passing) that these dogs escaped from their neighbor’s yard.

Let me be clear: I don’t think it’s okay that those dogs killed those cats.  If a dog did that to my cats (or my dog), I would die.  Animal control should’ve taken those dogs away, because they obviously were a danger.

But that’s not what the article was supposed to be about.  It’s supposed to be about funding, and instead the writer turned it into pit bull sensationalism, something the media just loves to do.  And the article got published on Pit Bull Awareness Day, when shelters try to promote pit bull adoptions and dispel pit myths.  It’s so fucking irresponsible.

Shit like this—coupled with irresponsible owners and irresponsible breeders—is the reason shelters across the nation are filled with pit bulls.  Shit like this is why people support cruel breed-specific legislation.  Shit like this is why people are terrified of giving these dogs a chance.  Shit like this is why pit bulls don’t even stand a chance at many shelters around the nation—they aren’t even allowed to be put up for adoption and are instead immediatly put on the euthanasia list.  Shit like this is why Red up in Yonkers, NY has been at the shelter for her entire 7.5 years of life–she went in as a puppy and remains there to this day as a senior.

Now I’m going to brace myself for the onslaught of anti-pit bull comments on that article that are sure to come if this story is still in a featured spot tomorrow morning.  Sigh.

EDIT: I started digging around a little and discovered that a low-cost clinic will be opening as soon as they can find a vet.  But I also came across this:

In 2007, PVAC reported an intake of approximately 32,600 dogs and cats and the euthanasia of 26,734 dogs and cats. This is an astounding 82% euthanasia rate. Using these numbers with the average weight per animal being 25lbs., 334 tons of animal carcasses were deposited into the local landfill in 2007.

This?  This is what that newspaper article needed to be focusing on.  Damn, it makes me so mad.

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About Melissa

I love donuts. Chocolate iced, hold the sprinkles.
This entry was posted in activism, animal rights, general assholery and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to This type of shitty reporting PISSES ME OFF.

  1. Jenn says:

    Hi, I came over from a link at Shakesville and I just wanted to let you know that I LOVE pitbulls and I’m a big fan of BADRAP (I live in Northern California). So, just in case you do get the OMG PITBULLS ARE BLOODTHIRSTY KILLERS contingent, you can read my comment and remind yourself that there are other people out there who see dogs as individuals and don’t buy into breed stereotypes. 🙂

  2. Anne says:

    Hi! Found you through Shakesville.

    I see things like this everywhere. I read an article last year that was similar to this. A stray dog (not a pitbull) attacked a woman and her dog (not a pitbull) on her front porch, but the article title and the article itself can’t help but mention the fact that the woman also owns a pitbull. There was one tiny blurb at the end of the article saying “The pitbull was not present during the attack.” So why even mention it if it had nothing to do whatsoever with the attack? That is incredibly irresponsible reporting.

  3. Thank you so much for posting about this. As someone who has spent his entire life around American Staffordshire terriers and Staffordshire bull terriers (two breeds often unfairly included in BSL), I always appreciate it when anyone comes to the defense of pit bulls.

    Not only was it not relevant to the article’s subject, but this event would have been horrible and traumatizing even if the cats were attacked by a labrador. The article’s author probably only included the anecdote as a chance to score another “pit bulls are evil” point.

    It sickens me to read this sort of thing, and I always love heareing somebody point out how noxious it reall is. Thank you.

  4. selwyn marock says:

    On many of the issues you mention I fully agree,in a number of cases where the biassed and sentational reporting by the media
    is done are to name a few that I rate as EVIL areas re BSL,i.e Dade County,Denver,Ontario and Northern Ireland these newspaper rags are totally one-sided,no doubt taking instruction from various politicos,They create preposterous stories about the pitbull and then only those that comment pro -bsl ,their comments are published and the anti-lobby gets left out,giving the false impression that most of the public are pro-bsl.This practise I beleive is dishonest.I am unable to register a posting in any of the above 4 areas.
    Also what is also very alarming where these scumbags spend their time Murdering family-pets they have little or no interest in addressing the dog-fighting issues

    smarock10@yahoo.com.

  5. StrudelCuddy says:

    Found this through Shakesville, and you can include me in the defence of pitbulls and other BSL dogs camp. I LOVE rottis, and I hate to see the way some people aggravate them, chain them up and train them to be aggressive, when they can be quite sweet. >:[

  6. Jaime says:

    GREAT post. I whole heartedly agree with you on every point. The media LOVES to sensationalize pit bull attacks and only makes the BSL issue worse than it already is. They are no irresponsible dogs, only shitty, mean, irresponsible OWNERS. Thats why dogs become violent, bc the owners abuse, neglect them and treat them like shit.
    I love how you called out this specific writer for this blatant misuse of newspaper space. Shame on her/him AND the editor who let this run.

    Thank you for being a logical voice in the fight against BSL.

    Jaime Smith
    thoughtsfurpaws.com

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