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Coffee Break: How Reality TV Shows Affect Community Perceptions

How have reality TV shows like

How have reality TV shows like Animal Cops and Animal Precinct affected the community’s perceptions of what you do? When we asked that question, you flooded our inbox with responses. We received so many answers about these Animal Planet programs that we are publishing more at

Michelle Riley/HSUS
Animal Cops has been a godsend to our shelter. People are actually reporting more neglect and cruelty, and those who commit these horrible acts know that there are not only people who care; there are people who will prosecute. People in our community of 12,000 have commented more than once on how well we do our job and compare us to the show. Thanks, Animal Cops, for making my life easier.
Gabby Evans, Director, Stephen Memorial Animal Shelter, Oskaloosa, Iowa

I do enjoy shows like Animal Cops, but it is hard to explain to the public when our resources don’t allow us to arrest people and take hurt animals to get the vet care they need. We don’t have cops on staff. We are a part of the police department but are not certified peace officers and cannot arrest people, and we do not have lawyers and vets on staff at the ready. I would like to see a full investigation done from beginning to end on TV, from the first call about an incident or complaint to the arrest to what happens at the court and the outcome.
Christine Hastings, Animal Services Officer, Flower Mound Animal Services, Flower Mound, Texas

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