Animal abuse posts

Sometimes members think it's appropriate or productive to share news items about abused dogs in the group. Usually, it's not.

First, we already don't allow graphic photos.

Second, you're "preaching to the choir". We are dog lovers group and none of us would ever abuse our pets, so a shared abuse post isn't teaching us anything.

Third, abuse posts are provocative and upsetting to our members. They bring out the worst in people and cause bickering, disrespect, and members to leave the group.

We realize that animal abuse exists in our world and that it is an important issue for our community. We also know some of our members feel it's important to discuss social issues, and wish for our collective voices to be heard. We just ask you to be extremely cautious.

Before you post about animal abuse, ask yourself the following:

1. Is the photo too graphic? If so, don't post it. Or find another way to post without using the graphic photos.

2. Is it true? If you can't verify the story, or it doesn't come from a trusted news source, don't post it. DWD will not be used to spread fabrication or rumor.

3. Has it already been posted? Do a search first to confirm so that you are not bombarding the group, especially about a sensitive topic.

4. What's your point? If it's just to share another abuse story, then don't bother. We already know.

5. What can we do about it? Is there a petition to sign? A number to call? In other words, don't throw awful stuff in our faces without providing a way for us to help.

6. Are you ready to monitor the conversation? Abuse posts tend to be hot-buttons and bring out the worst in people. Are you prepared to stay engaged, monitor the conversation, and delete your post if it gets out of hand?

If you've made it this far, and still feel it's important enough to post, then go for it.

These types of policy decisions aren't easy to make. However, it's our goal to keep DWD a positive place and protect sensitive members, while also encouraging DWD to become a force for good, charity, and change in our community.