Sunday, March 29, 2009

Louisiana's lead ACO weighs in on Hollywood

LA SPCA's Kathryn Destreza gives this shelter dog a big smooch.

It seems not all animal control officers are as angry as I am about the way Hollywood portrays them.

Earlier I posted an entry about the subject (Hollywood depicts ACOs as the bad guys again, March 18, 2009).

So I was surprised when I received the following note from Kathryn Destreza, director of humane law enforcement for the Louisiana SPCA. Rather than pointing fingers at the entertainment industry, she's turned the blame back on those ACOs who fuel the negative images. That's what I call big-picture thinking. No wonder she's garnered so much respect in the field.


"Although I have not seen Hotel For Dogs, I have seen Turner and Hooch, Man's Best Friend, and other movies where animal control officers are depicted as over-confident, or bumbling idiots who don't seem to know one end of a snare pole from the other.

As a professional in the field for more than 17 years, I am asked if I get angry when I see that. Honestly, not really. Because I know the people I have the honor to work with in this field, and I take comfort in knowing how professional we have become. This field is light years from where it was when I started, and we are striving to become even better. Our communities see this too.

On the other hand, there are people in the animal control field that could be better ambassadors for us. That's the reality of any profession. And those people make me angry because they are real, and they have affected the lives of some family or some animal in a negative way. Instead of changing Hollywood's portrayal of us, let's change the percentage of us that still put that image out there."

- Kathryn Destreza, director of humane law enforcement and chief humane officer for the Louisiana SPCA

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