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Behind the Story: How KATC exposed problems with early animal euthanasia in Louisiana

Video by KATC-Lafayette

You don’t need to work in a large newsroom to pull off an investigative story with impact. Earlier this year KATC-Lafayette’s Tina Macias and Allison Bourne-Vanneck revealed that in 2013 a Louisiana animal shelter euthanized a quarter of the dogs that passed through its doors in less than four days – the hold time stipulated by the parish’s animal control ordinance.

Macias, an investigative producer, used public records requests to track down documents on intakes and euthanasia drugs. When the shelter tried to charge the station thousands of dollars, Macias looked up the law and avoided the costs by using a handheld scanner.

Macias and Bourne-Vanneck also talked to a former animal control employee who verified the information they found on paper.

In this “Behind the Story” video they discussed their reporting process, including how they found sources and how they worked together as a team.

Participate in "Behind the Story"

In addition to the written "Behind the Story" pieces IRE publishes on its blog, we've started working with radio and broadcast journalists to share submitted audio and video pieces on our site.

Behind the Story features are designed to take readers inside the watchdog reporting process – a long-term investigative project, a breaking news investigation, a CAR story or any other news that involved some digging. Reporters watching, listening or reading these pieces should be able to gain inspiration for future stories and a tip or two to apply to their reporting.

If you'd like to film, record or write a Behind the Story piece for IRE, please contact IRE Web Editor Sarah Hutchins at

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