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Paper prints upsetting disturbing shelter "kill room" photos and gets negative feedback.

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  • Rita Fazio
    Please take a moment to email Editor Mike Needs, to thank him for this article, and tell him how important it is for the media to continue to expose the
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 15, 2003
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      Please take a moment to email Editor Mike Needs, to thank him for this article, and tell him how important it is for the media to continue to expose the suffering at our shelters. Anything positive, even just a couple of sentences would be great!


      Re: "You may not like it, but it's still news."

      Dear Mr. Needs,

      I am writing to thank you, for your positive and enlightening response, to reader complaints about a photo of freshly killed dogs in the city shelter's euthanasia room.

      It is good to see a newspaper, that is not afraid of exposing the horror happening behind closed doors at local shelters, and an editor that is willing to to put the truth before the public eye, even if some people would rather stay oblivious.

      My sincerest thank you, for a job well done. Please keep up the good work!


      Your name

      Even just a "Thank you for exposing the suffering of animals at county shelters," would be good!

      We need to give these people reason to continue to expose these atrocities! If they receive only negative feedback, they will think twice about doing it again. Please take a few moments to send off your email, thanking them for their efforts to help shelter animals. Thanks!


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Karen Dawn
      To: DawnWatch @ dawnwatch.com (remove spaces)
      Sent: Sunday, December 14, 2003 5:24 PM
      Subject: DawnWatch: Paper prints upsetting disturbing "kill room" photos and gets negative feedback.

      The Sunday, December 14, Akron Beacon Journal includes a column by Public Editor, Mike Needs, in response to reader complaints about a
      photo of freshly killed dogs in the city shelter's euthanasia room. The piece is headed, "You may not like it, but it's still news."

      He writes:
      "Buried in Tuesday's paper, way back on Page A13, was a small photo showing three dead dogs in the 'kill room' of the Summit County Animal
      Shelter. It was part of an in-depth look at the controversy surrounding the shelter."

      (Note: You will find that disturbing article, from Tuesday December 9, though not the photos, on line at:
      http://www.ohio.com/mld/ohio/news/7448561.htm )

      He tells us that many readers wrote angry letters, with lines such as the following:

      "I know what happens at the shelter. I DO NOT need it to slap me in the face!''

      He responds, "Do we really know what goes on at the shelter? I thought I did until I read last week's series of stories. Record-keeping is haphazard. Kittens get needles big enough to kill a cow. And while the county disputes abuse claims by animal activists, many questions remain.

      "At the heart of the issue is the 'kill room,' where unwanted animals get their deadly doses of Fatal Plus. As one editor explained, you need to see this room to fully understand what goes on there. Another editor pointed out that newspapers take readers to places they cannot go themselves."

      Needs tells us that a reader who had just had her dog, suffering from cancer, euthanized, wrote: "Thank you so much for tearing open my
      heart that still aches for the pet I recently lost.... I only wish that you could be as haunted by that image as I am.''

      He responds, "I'm glad the photo wasn't full color, big on the front page. But I also understand how painful it was for many to confront the reality of the 'kill room.' Perhaps that emotion can be channeled into efforts to prevent more pets from ending up there. Sometimes it takes a shocking photo to draw attention to a serious issue."

      The slogan for the Genesis Awards is "Cruelty Can't Stand the Spotlight." We hope it is true. What is certainly true is that the horrendous and common suffering our society inflicts on millions of
      animals every year is rarely given the spotlight. And in this instance, when it was, the paper received mostly irate feedback.

      At the bottom of Mike Needs's column it says:

      "Send comments about the Beacon Journal to Public Editor Mike Needs.
      Phone: 330-996-3860
      E-mail: mneeds @ thebeaconjournal.com (remove spaces)

      Needs and his editors deserve some positive feedback. Please take a moment to thank them for being willing to disturb their readers by
      sharing the offensive truth -- a truth that might shock the city into calling for change.

      You may like to send a letter to the editor:
      vop @ thebeaconjournal.com (remove spaces)
      You must include your name, address and phone number to be considered for publication.

      Yours and the animals',

      Karen Dawn

      (DawnWatch is an animal advocacy media watch that looks at animal
      issues in the media and facilitates one-click responses to the
      relevant media outlets. You can learn more about it at
      www.DawnWatch.com. To subscribe to DawnWatch, email
      KarenDawn @ DawnWatch.com (remove spaces)
      and tell me you'd like to receive alerts. If
      at any time you find DawnWatch is not for you, just let me know via email and I'll take you off the subscriber list immediately. If you forward or reprint DawnWatch alerts, please do so unedited, leaving DawnWatch in the title and including this tag line.)

      Rita Fazio,

      Korea Animal Protection Society (KAPS)
      International Aid for Korean Animals (IAKA)

      Don't turn your back upon their pain, because it's hard to see.They have no other place to turn, They've only you and me.

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