Tom Junod, Esquire writer and author of “The State Of The American Dog”

Tom Junod—two-time National Magazine Award-winning journalist and Esquire writer-at-large—discusses the impetus for writing “The State Of The American Dog,” his extended examination of the plight and perception of the pit bull that appears in the August issue of Esquire.pitbull-fb-intro-01-large_new-3 Drawing on a wealth of reporting and research for the story, Junod also wove in his personal experience with pit bulls, and in this “Talking Animals” interview addresses two pivotal scenes in the piece involving his pit Dexter, including what he and his family learned from those episodes, and how they connect to some of the article’s key themes. He also responds to some of the other significant elements presented in “The State Of The cameron-diaz-esquire-magazine-august-2014-issue_1 American Dog,” including the sobering statistics (among them: that in American shelters, as many as 3000 pit bulls are killed per day), the serious challenge—folly, really—of identifying which dogs actually are pit bulls, how the irresponsible behavior of a relatively small contingent of pit 4-Tom-Junod-937x623bull owners have greatly complicated the lives of other pit bull owners, such as making homeowner’s insurance policies far more expensive or impossible to get, etc. Junod explains the thinking behind his editors’ decision to include with his article the gallery of photos of pitbulls, acknowledging the stellar work of photographer Michael Friberg and noting that many of the dogs pictured ended up adopted. (www.esquire.com/features/american-dog-0814)

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About the author
Duncan Strauss is the producer-host of “Talking Animals,” which he launched at KUCI in California in 2003, combining his passions for animals, radio, journalism, music and comedy. The show has aired since late 2005 on Tampa’s WMNF. Strauss lives in Jupiter Farms, FL with his family, including four cats, two horses and one dog. He spends each day talking to those animals, and maintains they talk right back to him, an as yet unverified claim.

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