I’m old enough to know by now not to believe everything I read. I also know that all media is slightly bias in some way or another, but what I read in the Houston Chronicle a few weeks ago was simply ridiculous. (I expect more from a newspaper!) On the front page of the Sunday paper was an article:
Man’s best friend? Beware
Below that was a picture of a pit bull (of course!) with his front paws resting on the bars of his crate. I think he was suppose to look mean, but he actually just looked like there was an unfamiliar man in front of his cage (which there was!) holding a foreign object in his face (a camera!)
The first sentence of the article (in big print) read: 70% of 12,000 bites by animals here were unprovoked, with kids most often targeted.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME! So right there, I knew that this article was going to throw a bunch of random statistics at me that no one can back up. I would like to know who decides which bites are “unprovoked.” As we dog lovers know, 99% of the human population doesn’t know the first thing about what messages our body language is saying to members of the canine persuasion.
Yang Wang, what the heck were you thinking when you wrote this?!? I’m thinking that she must have been traumatized by a dog when he was a child, because the article feels like it’s trying to create fear with little facts to back it up. For instance: the 12,000 bites the article is referring to happened over the span of 5 years and all the statics cited are based not on any animal affiliated organization, but on “a Houston Chronicle analysis of data.” And those bites include cats….and skunks….and beetles? Wow, even monkeys. Then why are there pictures of pit bulls throughout the article?? After explaining about the “dangerous dog” list that Houston has (and you BETTER be careful, because there are lots of pit bulls on that list!)…there are only 5 dogs in the entire Houston area that have been declared “dangerous”.
Oh, but wait….it gets better.
“Just Monday, a missing 4 year old boy was found dead….the prelimiary autopsy report indicated the cause of death was canine mauling.” OH MY GOSH! I’m thinking. That is horrible! Reading further into the paragraph, the child had been “left unsupervised” and “wandered away from his home” into a “FENCED-IN yard filled with pit bulls.” Then the real hard-hitting reporting starts. An animal control supervisor gives us some valuable information – “Kids should never be left alone with dogs.” I thought kids were never supposed to be left alone, period.
If you cannot tell, this article really rubbed me the wrong way. I feel like the media is trying to get everyone all worked up over something that is a non-issue. I’m sorry, but if you go up and get up in any dogs face (be it cocker spaniel, a chihuahua, or a pit bull) you are asking to get bit. I would also like to know how the Houston Chronicle can be so confident in the fact that the bites were “unprovoked” when apparently a majority of them happened to children who were left unattended. Shame on the Chronicle and shame on Yang Wang.
There is a little humor in all of this, though. The article was printed with some “Dog saftey tips.” Would you like to hear some? They will make you chuckle:
**DO NOT chase dogs
**DO NOT leave a child alone with a dog
**DO NOT challenge a stray dog
**DO NOT break up a fight with your hands
You can email Yang Wang at firstname.lastname@example.org to let her know what you think about her bias story.