Florida Paper Responds to Criticism of Dead Dog Page One Photo

By: E&P Staff The semi-weekly Venice Gondolier Sun used its editorial pages last Wednesday to answer criticism over the paper publishing a front-page photo of two dead dogs in its Aug. 8 edition.

The dogs belonged to Christopher Lee Siringer, who sicced the animals on members of the Venice Police Department who were attempting to arrest Siringer on domestic violence charges. The animals were shot by a member of the police force.

"We did ... debate whether to use a photo," the editorial stated. "In the end, the consensus was that we would, for three reasons.

"1. In the context of the story, the photo was visually compelling.

"2.The photo would help drive home the consequences of the actions of a man with little regard for human or canine life.

"3. The photo showed no blood or gore. In fact, it's only from the words on the page, not the picture itself, that anyone would know the dogs were dead and not sleeping."

On the opposite page, the newspaper printed 10 letters of complaint from readers, who variously called the photo "shocking," "disturbing," "unnecessary" and "in poor taste."

"We don't know whether telling the story of this event, with a photo, will deter anyone from committing a similar crime," the editorial concluded. "but we think that shining more light, not less, on the people who consider themselves unbound by society's rules would make this a better world ... and a better community."


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