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This Just In: September 2 - 9

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Dog Danger!

Summary: A Bloomfield pit bull owner is under fire after several neighbors say they were attacked by her dog. Reporter: Jodine Costanzo, WPXI Channel 11 Airtime: 1 minute, 55 seconds on Aug. 27 Highlights: * When Costanzo reports, "After neighbors contacted me about this story, I talked to the dog's owner. She told me today she's very sorry for what happened. But some of those neighbors tell me it's 'too little, too late.'" * When she elaborates, "The sign in front of this house reads, 'Beware of Dog; Enter at Your Own Risk.' But it's not what goes on inside the house that has neighbors worried. It's what's happening outside." * When Costanzo informs us, "In the past month or so, Heath the pit bull has bitten two neighbors and a dog. [This man], who still has bite marks on his leg, was walking his pet when Heath attacked. Another neighbor who was afraid to go on camera was also bitten and his dog needed stitches." * When Costanzo asks the woman who owns Heath, "Don't you think it's your responsibility to make sure he doesn't leave your house without his leash?" * When the owner, appearing very exasperated, struggles, "He, he, he, he gets out. It's not that I ... I can't explain it. He just runs when there's a crack in the door." * When Costanzo tells us, "Animal Control has cited [her] for harboring a dangerous animal and letting it run at large. [She] tells me she plans to send the dog to obedience school and is having him neutered." * When the owner says, "I would put this dog down in a minute if I knew he was gonna hurt any -- do anything else. I'm sick about this. He's our family dog." * When Costanzo injects, "But neighbors who contacted Channel 11 about this story are worried sick -- their quiet place now is a place to fear." * When Costanzo ends, "All right, now, late this afternoon, I got a call from that dog owner. She told me she's trying to work things out with her neighbors." What We Learned: When we stay inside our homes because of a dog, the terrorists win. Unanswered Question: Seriously -- why do people in heavily populated neighborhoods with a lot of pedestrian traffic and kids HAVE THESE KINDS OF DOGS? News Value: 2. If there's one thing I wish I could impress upon people -- especially a woman in a situation like this, where someone might be considering a lawsuit -- it's that you don't have to go on camera and say something to someone just because they're wielding a microphone. TV reporters are not the authorities (much as they'd like to have you think otherwise) and you don't owe them any explanation at all.

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