Disney should know better, doggone it

Nothing ruins a vacation to Disney World like being torn apart by a pack of wild Chinese dogs.

Nothing ruins a vacation to Disney World like being torn apart by a pack of wild Chinese dogs.

We get that. But there had to be a better way to handle this.

With construction nearly finished on Hong Kong Disneyland, the company set about tending to some last-minute details. Top of the list? Exterminate dozens of wild dogs prowling about the construction site.

The Chinese government was called in by the House of Mouse to collect and destroy the animals, which had allegedly been adopted as guard dogs by construction workers during the project, according to the South China Morning Post.

This would have been an unwise public move by just about any company, but Disney? The virtual birthplace of cuddly, anthropomorphic animal characters? The studio that gave us Pluto and Goofy? What if it had been a pack of wild mice?

Animal rights groups went nuts, accusing Disney of exploiting the dogs for its own security purposes, then disposing of them in a less-than-gracious manner.

A company spokeswoman defended the pooch-ocide, saying the animals were strays who had wandered onto the site, posing "a safety risk to our casts and construction workers." She added that they were never used as guard dogs by anyone employed by the company.

But at least one group said that if Disney had contacted them first, they would have been happy to help find homes for the dogs. And when you think about it, that would have made a really nice story for Disney to share with its new neighbors.

And you thought Cruella DeVil was fictional.

  • Douglas Quenqua writes PR Play of the Week. He is PRWeek's news editor.

    Ratings:

    1. Clueless

    2. Ill-advised

    3. On the right track

    4. Savvy

    5. Ingenious

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