Thursday, January 13, 2011

With poll: The Discovery Channel's "A Dog's Life": a source of controversy in the Metro-Detroit area

It's no secret that times have been tough in Michigan, and in many respects, it's undoubtedly spilled over to the pet population. People have had to leave the state in order to seek a better way to make a living, and in some cases, abandoned ship completely: leaving homes, friends -- and in some cases, their companion animals behind.
flickr photo courtesy of manitari

Some pets have been relinquished to already strained Humane Societies and shelters, others, simply left behind to fend for themselves. 

 The Discovery Channel had an idea: to chronicle the life of stray dogs in Detroit from a four-legged point of view: attaching tiny cameras to the dogs and seeing what goes on day-to-day.  According to, the project, "A Dog's Life", estimated to be over one million dollars qualified for a $559,361 tax credit from the Michigan Film Office - but Mayor Bing's Detroit film office nixed the deal saying that it would be bad in too many ways, including for the dogs, adding that celebrating the life of homeless dogs is counterproductive.

A quandary certainly exists. This in many respects is uncharted territory, as dogs who are left behind - sometimes locked in the houses in the very houses that they shared with their families - have grown in number so vastly that animal control workers can't keep up.

It's a problem that has affected not just Detroit, but other communities as well, and not just in Michigan.

Have we really identified the problem? What is the solution? How does Mayor Bing's position make you feel? Take the poll (multiple selections are available) and offer your comments below:

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