Saturday, October 30, 2010

Poor Reporting by WPLG on Hookworm

As some of you may have heard, there is a reported outbreak of hookworms on 50-52nd Street in Miami Beach. On WPLG, Local 10, they reported that the source was cat feces and that the city was going to trap the many cats and take them to Animal Services.

Sadly, WPLG has erroneously reported the facts which are very misleading.

First while it is true that humans can contract hookworms from cat feces, they can also get it from dog feces and human feces.  While there are many stray cats in the area, health investigators did NOT find any cat feces on the beach itself as originally reported. Cat feces were found nearby but not on the beach sand where the victims most likely contracted it when walking in bare feet.

We also know that residents take their dogs walking on the beach where they do defecate and the owners do not always pick it up. It happens here at our condo complex everyday. So it is possible the people infected with hookworm contracted it from dog feces.

Since the stray cats in the area are visible, they are to blame by WPLG reporter Rob Schmitt. What happened to journalistic integrity and doing homework or research?

Next, it was reported the stray cats were going to be trapped and taken to Animal Services which means they will be put to sleep.  The facts are that the City of Miami Beach never said that according to the Chief of staff.  What I do know is that the City is working with the Cat Network to trap the cats, get them sterilized and also apply topical medication to treat any parasites. 

It was also reported that residents would be fined for feeding cats.  What viewers need to know is that as long as tons of food and containers are not left unattended, volunteers can feed cats as long as they stay for the feeding to ensure no trash is left behind.

This is what we do here at Riverfront. We know how to feed the cats, what food they will eat and the proper amounts so there are no remaining crumbs attracting ants and insects. That is why we ask residents not to throw leftover human food into the alley. Some foods are harmful for cats.

I used to be a long-time viewer of Channel 10 but their journalistic reporting is no longer of high standing. There is no fact checking and grossly misleads viewers.

Please feel free to share this posting so residents do have the facts.

After many residents and experts called in with complaints of erroneous reporting, WPLG has since changed their report.  Here is the link to the latest report.


1 comment:

  1. Good job calling out WPLG's sloppy reporting. Thanks for setting the record straight.