Calling All Anti-BSL Folks

I became aware of this situation from one of my favorite blogs, Run A Muck Ranch.  They became aware of this through an Anti-BSL blog and then wrote about it on their blog.  All credit goes to them, I am merely doing my best to spread the word too because in my opinion, it’s shit like this that is really holding us and our beloved “bully breeds” back.  So, what is this all about?  Please watch this video:

“Son of a b*tch.  Great.  Here’s yet another negative story about pit bulls.  Why did that woman have to send her dogs to attack a reporter?!  Way to perpetuate the stereotype lady!”  I’m not proud of myself, but that was my reaction immediately after watching the video.  I’m willing to bet not many people will admit it, but it was theirs too.  And if I hadn’t taken the time to read the rest of what RAMR had to say, I would have only seen exactly what the ABC6 crew wanted me to: an innocent white lady being attacked, unprovoked, by two vicious pit bulls owned by a black lady living in the ghetto.

FUR 035-(ZF-1860-91697-1-007)

Just another “vicious” pit bull, hangin out.

Let’s watch the video again and analyze it this time.  First we have the introduction: the reporter wanted to ask a “simple question” to the mother of a recently shot teen.  Wait a second.  I didn’t even really catch that the first time around because all I could think about was the “pit bull attack” I was about to see.  Ok, so we have a grieving mother on our hands.  I am only mother to my fur children and I can’t even begin to fathom the state I would be in if someone had shot them.  I can’t begin to put words to what she must be feeling.

The video starts, not as they are initially walking up to interview the mother, Ms. Lawrence, but at an undeterminable time later.  How long had they been there?  What did they say to her before they edited the video into the version we are watching?  Were they the only crew there that day?  Unlikely, since remember, this is the mother of a recently shot teen girl and the alleged shooter had just turned himself in.  So the very first clip is of the mother throwing a rock.  Then it shows the reporter walking up to the house…then it shows the same clip of the mother throwing a rock again?  Note the two dogs, sitting peacefully on the steps.  The mother is shouting, “Get away from me!” then she goes to get a bat.

So at this point, the crew had been told, by a grieving mother nonetheless, to leave her alone who knows how many times.  She threw rocks.  She got a bat.  Still the reporter was going to get her answer!  And remember, she isn’t harassing the mother of a recently convicted sex offender, drug dealer, or murderer.  No, she is harassing the mother of a victim.  The woman herself is a victim!  But dammit, Abby Niezgoda, reporter extraordinaire, has a right to know how she is feeling, and get her question answered! Ooookay.  Moving on.


So, after yelling to “get away”, throwing rocks, and getting a bat, the mother tells the dogs to attack.  (Note that the dogs were just standing around loose up until this point, showing zero signs of aggression.)  They jump on Niezgoda, barking, and following her as she shuffles runs down the street.  There is a voiceover and Niezgoda says, “They bit my forearm.”

Ok, reverse and watch the “attack” scene again.  The dogs come out, barking, and really just trotting along.  One of them does jump up on her, and maybe nips her forearm, but then they basically just follow her.  I don’t know about any of you but the very first thought in my mind is that if the dogs really wanted to attack her, she would have been  flat on the ground the second they made contact with her.  Second, I’ve been bit by dogs before and let me tell you, I bled like a stuck pig.  I didn’t see a drop of blood, did you?  Third, and probably the most ridiculous, is Niezgoda’s attempt to run away.  She’s not moving at more than an awkward trot with those ridiculous heels on!  You mean to tell me these vicious, unprovoked dogs couldn’t catch her?!  Puh-lease.  What I see are two dogs that are reluctantly following the commands of their owner.  I like how they show the clip of her “running” and them “chasing” her a couple more times too, just for good measure.

The video ends with the reporter making sure to tell us that Niezgoda was on public property the whole time, she had to get a tetanus shot!, and there is a warrant for Ms. Lawrence’s arrest.  A warrant for her arrest.  Do I wish that she hadn’t decided to sic her dogs on the reporter?  Absolutely!  Do I think she was thinking rationally?  No.  Can I even imagine what she is going through?  No way.  Can you?  It’s funny how Niezgoda is portrayed as the innocent victim in all this, with our sympathies guided in her direction.  No sympathy for the mother of a shot teen who was just harassed at her home when she should have been left alone to grieve.


Look, the last thing I’m saying is that what Ms. Lawrence did was okay, and yes, I do think she perpetuated some stereotypes.  Our dogs should never be used as weapons.  It is our duty to protect them at all times and at all costs.  But again, I don’t think she was anywhere near a rational state of mind.  She was provoked, how much, we don’t even know.  I think there was a hell of a lot of editing going on to produce the video that we all just watched.  Who knows what else happened that we didn’t see?  And now she is going to get arrested?  Actions absolutely should have consequences, so how about Niezgoda getting arrested too for harassment?  I think we all know that isn’t going to happen.

And what is going to happen to the dogs?  I shudder to think of the possibilities.  So, here is what I think needs to happen.

1)  The dogs in the story are the ultimate victims.  They did not randomly attack Niezgoda.  They chased her down after their owner told them to.  They also came as soon as she called them off.  I think we can all agree that these are not the actions of vicious, unprovoked dogs, and also that they do not pose any sort of threat.  If Niezgoda had left Lawrence alone, after who knows how many times she told her to, this never would have happened.  It might already be too late for these dogs, and if so, ABC and Niezgoda should be held accountable.  But it might not.  If you are in the Rhode Island area, or know someone that is, I implore you to try and contact Animal Control and speak up.  These dogs do not deserve to die over this, and should be returned to the Lawrence family who has already lost too much.

2) I think Niezgoda needs to hear from the masses that what she did was wrong.  Through who knows how much editing, Niezgoda and ABC painted an ugly picture.  They want us to believe that this is just another story of a vicious pit bull attack.  These stories need to stop!  Until the media begins to report incidents like this more accurately, our dogs are in danger.  We need to all stand up and let our voices be heard.  Yes, what Ms. Lawrence did was wrong, but what ABC did is even worse because they are endangering not just those two dogs, but all pit bulls with this kind of inaccurate, lopsided, prejudicial reporting.  So, let’s tell them what we think of their actions.  Below is a copy and pasted list from RAMR of various outlets to contact.  They are all public information so no worries there.

3)  Everyone, please, think before you act.  As the owners of “bully breeds” our actions are constantly in the spotlight.  One wrong move and you never know just how blown out of proportion it might become.  Let’s all try and take some time over the next few days to do something extra public and positive with our pit bulls.  Maybe a walk through a park.  Post a cute picture online.  Just something to show them in a good light so that we can hopefully counteract a little of the most recent damage to our breed.

Thanks for sticking with me through that incredibly long post.  Below are the list of contacts.  Go.  Now.

*This information was made available from public sources, and as outraged citizens, you are entitled to make your opinions known.  Freedom of speech, just like freedom of the press, is guaranteed in the Constitution.  Your filling of Abbey Niezgoda’s inbox can’t be any more wrong than her refusing to leave a grieving mother alone who asked her to leave.   Unlike Ms. Lawrence, who never expected to be attacked by the press, public figures such as Abbey Niezgoda should expect people to express their opinions of her freely.

Twitter:  @abbeyniezgoda


Please contact the ABC6 Executive Team and tell them that Abbey Niezgoda’s self-serving, unethical and despicable behavior should cost her her job.

Chris Tzianabos

Vice President/General Manager


Michael Troiano

General Sales Manager


Beth Ulicnik

MultiChannel Manager



John Methia

Director of Broadcast Operations & Engineering


Robert Rockstroh

News Director


Cindy Walsh

National Sales Manager


Judy Shoemaker

Promotion Manager


Anne Marie Menard

Business Manager


Contact ABC and let them know of the unethical means in which one of its affiliates creates news. (sorry, these are form contacts, but your voice is worth the effort)

If you are local to the Providence, Rhode Island area, contact the sponsors of ABC6 News and tell them you have a problem with a news station that tortures victims for a story, and ask that they pull their support until Abbey Niezgoda is fired, and ABC6 has issued a formal apology to Melissa Lawrence.

29 thoughts on “Calling All Anti-BSL Folks

  1. Geeze, I’m angry at the woman for using her dogs (pibbles) as a tool. Imo I’ve seen aggressive, attacking pit bulls and these dogs simply looked nothing like that. Almost as if they wanted to play cause the newscaster was running. Hmm run? My Titan chases me if I run from him. Duh, it’s a game. It’s truly ashame. I feel for the mother’s lost but feel sorry for the dogs also. I hope nothing comes to haunt the 2 dogs. 😦

    • I absolutely agree, I’m mad at the woman for sending her dogs too! But I’m even more mad at the NEWS station for slanting the incident in such a way. I agree with you, my dogs chase me (MUCH faster than these two did) whenever I run, it’s totally a game. I really hope the dogs end up ok after all this to. It would be such a shame if anything happened because they clearly are NOT dangerous.

      • I agree Morgan. I find the media to be one of the biggest problems with pit bulls. They are ALWAYS portraying them as vicious killers. Breaks my heart. Last week, a labrador came charging (aggressively) into my yard while I was walking Titan and went to attack us. I had nothing else but to kick the dog twice to keep it from getting to my boy. Do you know what my pit bull mix did? Stayed behind me where I told him to, didn’t snarl or anything. Once the neighbor got his dog and pulled it away only then did I give Titan the OK and then all he did was stood his ground and barked (again, not aggressively). Dang shame 😦

  2. Great post! You should post this on twitter, and although this may sound silly, reach out to celebs that are pit bull advocates, like Kelly Cuoco. Tweet it to her, and ask her to share. She is a huge pit bull advocate. In my opinion, after watching the video, the dogs are clearly trained exceptionally well. And no, we shouldn’t use dogs as weapons, but it also has been proven that pitties are loyal & protective. If someone feels threatened, they have the right to protect themselves, yes? The dogs didn’t maul the reporter, they just chased her away. And they stopped running as soon as their owner called them off. If that was a boxer, or a golden retriever, or a Chihuahua, would it have gotten the same attention?! The crew obviously weren’t THAT afraid of the dogs, otherwise they would have ran away, and they didn’t…they continued filming. So, 1-the reporter needs to get a grip & stop acting like she is the victim; and 2-the film crew are a bunch of douches for watching the dogs “attack” their reporter, and doing nothing but continue to film. No matter what the circumstances, no matter if Ms. Lawrence was a grieving mother or not, we as people should have the right to say “leave me alone” and have that be respected. Shame on the entire film crew!

  3. Bravo! I saw this video when it first hit the airwaves, it actually came up in a dog training site on FB about observing canine behavior. It was subsequently removed because of the inflammatory nature of the video but I did analyze it from a completely behavioral perspective (because that’s what that site is designed for) and I disagreed with the use of the word “attack”. The dogs were IMO, stressed, and jumped up. When she freaked out as she did and continued to flee, that amped them up even more and their natural prey drive (which EVERY canine has), clicked in and the chase began. Play “keep away” or “chase” or run away with any 8 week old puppy and you’ll see the same thing going on, only it’s cute when a puppy does it. Thanks for the post. I think I’ll reblog this afternoon 🙂 and post to a few pitbull Facebook pages!

  4. That video looks like so much has been left out and put out of order – how long was this reporter harassing this poor woman? The killer turning himself in doesn’t change the fact that her child has been shot and she should be allowed to grieve in peace if she wishes to do so, not have everyone who watches the news gawking at her grief. While the reporter may have been on public property, she certainly seemed to be treating this grieving mother like she was just a story and not a human being. No, the mother shouldn’t have told the dogs to scare the reporter, but people are often irrational when they are sad and furious. I’d imagine the dogs responded more to the pointing and running than the whisper of “scare her.” While the reporter may have been nipped initially, if it had been a full bite, she would likely have been screaming in a lot more pain and have ditched those heels pronto (or stood still to stop the chasing). Those dogs look quite happy to play “chase” with that reporter as she continued to flee and left her alone the moment they were told to come back.

    • Also, even “everyone is my BFF Gambit” would have been reacting more than those dogs when they were hanging out on the steps! He knows who is and is not supposed to be outside, and will defend his home vocally. Rusty does too, and it paid off for his owner early on. People with bad intentions don’t need to know they’re really total love bugs! Those pitties seem well-trained and people loving enough to NOT have defended their home vocally, which may have scared reporters away as they first approached.

      • I agree. The whole thing is just a shame. To me, you’re looking at two very well behaved dogs that are now be portrayed all wrong. Shame, shame, shame.

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  6. I am choosing to not watch the video– news outlets know what sells, and they do that based on number of views. They don’t know the difference between “people who hate pibbles and want more reason to do just that” views and “people who are watching to see just how wrong the newscaster was” views. By watching this video, we’re telling them “yes! Please keep reporting on pit bull attacks. That is the kind of news I want to see.”

    Is there a way to get the video from another site that doesn’t give the news station the gratification of seeing the # of views?

    I will, however, drop a line to the addresses listed. Thanks!

  7. There IS another video because I saw it a couple of weeks ago. It was much longer, not as edited as this one and not as slanted. It did focus more on the victim’s rage but my first reaction was that the reporter was being much too pushy. I wanted to tell her, “hey honey, no job is worth this.” To me I was wondering if she felt pressure from her boss to get the story no matter what it took and she felt her job was at stake if she failed. As far as the dogs go, the lady did everything in her power to make the reporter go away and just like a dog she went through all the warning signals before she finally got to the last resort…attack! During the entire confrontation my only thought was, “Woman, just go in your house & shut the door. They will eventually leave.” And the dogs, they were just not up to being as threatening as their mom hoped they’d be. They chased the reporter almost like it was a game. And did you notice in the last few seconds of the video as the reporter again approached the house, the dogs were trotting along beside her and she sure didn’t look very afraid of them. I doubt that she was really bitten & if so it didn’t even break the skin. The dogs tried to do what they thought their mom wanted but just didn’t have it in them. So much for vicious pit bulls.

    • I absolutely agree with every single point you made. I kept thinking the same thing, “Go inside!” It’s so sad that she chose to “sic” her dogs on the woman, but like you said, it was a last resort! And yes, vicious pit bulls – ha!

  8. The dogs weren’t pit bulls and were never called pit bulls in the story. They are mix breeds I think. Also, her daughter had already been released. Didn’t die.

    • If Morgan’s facts are wrong, that’s my fault. The page I saw that showed the video said the daughter had died. Also, very nice catch… it was the page and not the video that said they were pits. Thank you for pointing it out. I guess we too jump to conclusions; it appeared on an anti-BSL page with the statement that “this lady is going to get pit bulls banned!” and my mind stayed there. My bad.

      A blogger admitting error – not a problem. A news agency admitting a wrong, not likely 🙂

      • I actually edited my post as soon as I realized the daughter had not been murdered. I did the exact same thing you did RAMR, my mind stayed there. And yes, I admit my error for not researching the situation further, I should have, but again, just like RAMR, I just a lowly blogger – NOT a news agency.

    • Zach, I’m ashamed to say I also thought the daughter was shot but not killed. When I watched the video the first time a couple of weeks ago some were saying she was killed and some were saying she wasn’t. So this time when everyone was saying she was killed then I decided that this was the outcome after all so I let it go. But I was conflicted about that. As far as the dogs breed, in the back of my head I didn’t think they looked like pits but so many of pit mixes don’t look much like pits either and I didn’t think we got a really clear look at them anyway. So I guess it’s my weakness that I just go with the flow and accept things as they’re presented to me. My bad.

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