Fatal Dog Attacks And How We Cover Them

By: Stephanie Shoop -- News Director
By: Stephanie Shoop -- News Director

The breed has nothing to do with whether we cover a bite/attack story.

The outpouring of comments and opinions about Pit Bulls following this week’s deadly attack in Jacksonville has been intense. It’s very clear that people feel strongly about their pets and are passionate about many breeds, including Pit Bulls.

Chelsea Donovan covered the facts of the case on WITN News, straight and to the point. Audrey Washington talked to a family that trains dogs and showed how they allow their child to be and play with their Pit Bull with supervision. We aired statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and other government agencies on which breeds have been most involved in fatal attacks. 

One commenter suggested we would not have covered the story if the dog in question had been a Labrador Retriever. The breed has nothing to do with whether we cover a bite/attack story. A fatal attack by a Lab would be reported. To be frank, the national media would probably pick that story up as well. It is rarer for a Lab to be involved in a fatal attack than a Pit Bill, according to statistics. 

No matter what you think about Pit Bulls or any other breed of dog, no matter how you feel... "ban the breed” or “ban the deed, not the breed”... the comments suggest most viewers are united in one respect: the sympathy felt for that little boy and his family.






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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Chad Location: Winterville on May 25, 2008 at 12:42 AM
    Pit Bulls are wonderful dogs when they are properly trained and supervised. I compare a Pit Bull and a Lab to a gun and a butter knife. I would not leave a gun alone with a child like I might a butter knife. While both may be capable of killing, one is much more likely than the other. Owners need to be held accountable. I heard your sports guy say on the radio last week that his pit bull was a great dog and wouldn't hurt a fly...but he WOULDNT leave it alone with a child. More pit bull owners need his rationalization.
  • by hankmitchell on May 24, 2008 at 06:42 PM
    i'm a proud owner of pitbull terriers and i truly think that media makes the public more afraid than we really should be,and i have proven with help of the web that other/all dogs are prone to attack.my sympathy goes out to the victoms of all dog/animal attacks.to single out one breed /and try to band it,is truly juvenile."DONT BAN THA BREED GOVERN THE OWNERS!"

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