About two days before we published Deanna Darr's dog trainer story (BW, News, "Dog Eat Dog," Jan. 16, 2008) I told her, "Get ready for some serious blowback."
Nothing like feeling prescient. People came out of the woodwork to complain that Darr's story was the worst piece of attack journalism unleashed (heh) upon the populace they'd ever read.
I respect the passion of dog owners, but they need to loosen their collars. I'm happy to stand by our story in which we pointed out that, for the first time in recent memory, the Idaho Humane Society was issuing a citation to a dog training business. Never mind the allegations for a moment, and consider the enormity of the power the Humane Society holds over a business. One complaint, rational or not, and the Humane Society issues a citation that leads to legal action. The owners of the Dog House could wind up with fines or even jail. I call that a story.
The Dog House has a policy against releasing names of its clients, an understandable practice. We did get them to connect us with the owner of the allegedly abused dog, who told us the dog was fine and they liked the training. And we printed that.
To the dog owners who love The Dog House: Thank you for your comments. Now go read the story.