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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that many scenes of animal neglect and abuse in this show are very graphic and could upset kids. Animals featured include dogs, cats, rabbits, and horses, and many are ill and/or injured when the agents arrive. When questioned, the offenders often are unremorseful and seem unmoved by the animals' dire straits. The show exposes viewers to a little-known group of officials and reminds us how much all facets of law enforcement rely on the public for information.
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What's the story?
ANIMAL PRECINCT introduces viewers to the Humane Law Enforcement Team of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) in New York City, whose 15 agents patrol the city -- home to an estimated 5 million pets -- gathering statements from witnesses, observing the animals in question (often from afar), and deciding on the proper course of action. If the situation warrants immediate action, the agents enter homes unannounced and rescue animals in distress. Severe offenders can face felony charges, while in cases of mild neglect, the ASPCA often steps in to educate owners on proper animal care. The show includes follow-up on the featured stories, describing the offenders' punishment and showing the rehabilitated animals in their new adoptive homes.
Is it any good?
The show is eye-opening to the plight of many pets in neglectful situations and encourages the public's vigilance in preserving animals' rights. It also reminds us of the heroic jobs performed by a variety of low-profile law enforcement agents every day. But parents need to be warned that this isn't a feel-good animal show, and it isn't appropriate for young kids. Many of the stories are absolutely heart-wrenching no matter how old you are.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about proper care of animals. What moral responsibilities do owners have toward their pets? What are the animal rights laws in your area? Parents can also use the show to demonstrate the importance of being observant. What might have happened to the animals in trouble if someone hadn't called the authorities? If you witnessed a case of neglect or abuse, what would you do?