Open Letter to KCRW

To : Ms. Ruth Seymour, KCRW General Manager/Program Director

Re: Laurel Snyder Commentary re: Dog Adoption

Broadcast October 19, 2007- 7PM

When a radio commentator says they don’t wish to marginalize nor trivialize a controversial news story and proceeds to marginalize and trivialize the story, then for good measure heaps on a healthy dollop of sensationalism, something is wrong. 

KCRW seems to be barking up the wrong tree.

Ms. Snyder was opining about a person‚Äôs right to give an animal they‚Äôve adopted away. She smugly justified her decision to give her dog away when the animal nipped her child, (without a second thought I think she said)¬†which is a reasonable course of action to take under the circumstance which, needs to be emphatically pointed out, has nothing to do with the Degeneres Dog Adoption story.¬† The ovbious question that begs to be asked is,¬†¬†”what does this story have to do with anything? Or am I missing something?”

Why did KCRW air this piece at this time? 

Ms. Snyder¬†then goes on to embellish¬†her tragic story with¬†rich blood-soaked metaphors. She chose her words carefully for maximum impact in sentences like, “The nurse couldn‚Äôt find¬†a tiny¬†vein in his arm for an IV.”¬† “I could hear the child‚Äôs screams.”¬† Laurel’s lip must have quivered¬†on her next, best line, “He sobbed (dramatic pause for emphasis) ‚Äúdoggie.‚Äù”

Ms. Snyder made it sound as if her child had been torn limb from limb and ravaged by a mad lunatic wolf; not a nip. 

And the point was?

In light of recently ignited passions over an unfortunate local adoption gone very wrong, it seems in toto to be an inappropriate commentary to run in prime-time drive time. The old adage about allowing sleeping dogs to lie would have been more apropos. But regrettably KCRW ran with the story, sans solutions, nor response.

Speaking as one who rescues animals, the Ellen Degeneres dog adoption spectacle was extraordinarily painful to watch in light of the fact that a recent 3rd quarter Los Angeles Animal Services report states 11,650 dogs and cats have been euthanized right here in LOS ANGELES, for no crime against humanity other than they couldn’t find a home.   

Lopsided stories like this¬†don’t help homeless dogs and cats in shelters get new homes but add to the statistics.

In my opinion KCRW did Los Angeles animal rescue groups a huge disservice by broadcasting this story at this time Рespecially since this story has absolutely no resemblance to the adoption melt-down that just took place.  

I feel that every opportunity to give a shelter dog or cat a good home must be explored. In Ellen’s situation it is very disconcerting to me that the rescue agency did not work diligently to find a solution that would have resulted in a win-win for all – family, children and dog. 

In her commentary, Ms. Snyder, a person who looks at a cow and sees grazing Chateaubriand, by her own admission, tossed disparaging remarks at people who rescue animals that were also not rebutted. And by the way, how did eating meat find its way into a story on animal adoption?  

Yes, unfortunately human beings do treat other human beings inhumanely, and this must change if we are to survive together on Earth,¬†but don’t blame the animal rescue community for saving animal’s lives in the same breath.¬† I believe, and many who rescue animals believe, saving animals is key to saving our world and restoring what‚Äôs left of our dignity.¬†

In closing I’ll leave you with this quote by Mahatma Gandhi for all to ponder – 

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”



Richard Oshen, Co-Founder

Oct 20, 2007 | 0 | Uncategorized

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