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The coming of spring and summer will likely see a repetition of the newspaper headlines “Children bitten by mad dog.” Then will follow the statement that the health department or the police department is planning a campaign against dogs.
When the newspaper in your locality reports children being bitten by dogs, adding the statement that the physician dressed the wounds, take the time to call upon the family for an investigation. We believe that in almost four of five cases it will be found that the children provoked or mistreated or struck the dog, and that the injuries described as wounds are hardly flesh breaks. Always the newspapers report the case as that of a vicious dog, often a mad dog, and that the ferocious dog was finally subdued by a bullet thru him from a policeman’s pistol.
A woman of mature years not long ago shouted that she had been bitten by a mad dog; she was rushed to the physician to dress her wounds; a newspaper reported the attack as one by a vicious dog. Investigation showed that the woman and the dog knew each other and that the dog, seeing her after some absence, leaped upon her in gladness. His paws pushed against an open end of a steel in her corset and this open end had made a slight scratch upon the lady’s hip.
The newspapers are not to be overly condemned. They employ the same tactics in almost all matters that reach their columns. Dog lovers must be on the alert to ask for corrections and to request that the actual facts be reported.
Excerpted from Dog World magazine, February 1929, Vol. 14. For back issues of Dog World, click here.