Our priorities are skewed

The body of a missing teen is pulled from a creek in an upscale neighborhood, and his murder remains unsolved. A popular high school student-athlete is killed in a single-vehicle accident. More than a half-dozen people are shot, four killed, in less than a week. A local school wins the state soccer championship. Hundreds of kids attending schools here are homeless. Kids are being pimped out for sex trafficking. A young girl killed in a traffic accident has her organs transplanted on Christmas Day so others may live. A popular middle school teacher resigns after police find a small amount of marijuana in his home.

If you added up all the comments and readers of those stories on our various news and social media websites, you’d have a pretty big number.

That tally, however, would not be half what has been generated over our coverage of a single event.

The stabbing of a dog.

As of Thursday morning, more than 200,000 people have read the story. It has gone national, with links to the Drudge Report and USA Today. Our stories have also generated more than 2,500 comments, a number that dwarfs the combined total of the next five top commented stories.

All over the stabbing of a dog.

Clara, a pit bull terrier, broke free from her handler on Sunday at the Newnan PetSmart store. She ran up to a female terrier mix dog owned by Craig Emory Hayes, 56, of Newnan. According to our stories, Hayes started screaming at the pit bull, kicked it, and eventually pulled out a pocketknife and stabbed it four to six times.

Clara was euthanized. The other dog was kept overnight at an animal hospital and released the next day with some antibiotics and ointment.

And all hell has broken loose.

There’s a Quick Vote poll on this page we conducted that shows views are substantially split. It’s also one of the most voted on Quick Votes we’ve ever had.

Hayes had every right to defend his animal, including stabbing the other dog. Hayes went too far and should have just picked up his dog. Hayes should be charged with animal and child cruelty and/or locked in a cage with 10 starving pitbulls. Everyone falls somewhere in one of those three options.

The comments have become increasingly profane and vile. Some are just full of pure hatred for any view but their own. We have removed more comments and banned more people on this one topic than we have in all the thousands of other stories we’ve posted since the inception of our web and social media sites combined.

We all love our pets. We are passionate about them. We consider them part of the family. We cry when they die.

And based on all the comments and views, this is the most important issue we face in our country.

Folks, we are talking about a dog. And yes, we were pretty shocked that someone would actually stab a dog instead of just picking his up and getting it out of the way. Clara never attacked any human and we think Hayes went overboard.

But honestly, is this really the most important thing that matters? Why are we so passionate and vocal about a dog when we have homeless kids here whose best meal of the day is a school lunch?

We have veterans who can’t get proper care. We have people in this county who rely on food pantries to survive. We have a drug problem, which includes meth and heroin. We have people killing each other in the middle of the day. We have families losing their homes, jobs disappearing and a skyrocketing divorce rate. Domestic violence? Child cruelty?

And that’s only here. We don’t even want to bring up a potential war with Russia over the Ukraine or ISIS and its continued path of beheadings and destruction.

We need to shift our priorities. Think of all the good we could accomplish if we could direct our passion about a dog stabbing to fixing real problems. Who cares about all the shootings and stabbings of humans, dogs are obviously more important, based on what people are reading and commenting on.

Seriously?




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