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In the literal sense, a watchdog is there to guard a human being and/or their property. Watchdog groups do the same thing. They offer protection against a variety of actions that will harm a person and/or their property and their rights as consumers. There are many groups that are found in many ways, through online organizations or community resources. A watchdog group is even easy to find on Facebook .

 Some watchdog groups are global, as in the case with the ACLU or the ASPCA, and other are local. Sometimes they monitor a variety of issues, and sometimes it may be that they are keeping an eye on one specific issue or target. They act and react similar to the way a junkyard watchdog does. Sometimes they just bark, to alert or to alarm one to the problem or intrusion at hand. Sometimes they will walk to the fence so to speak, to attempt to dissuade further invasion. And other times, should the intruder “jump the fence” the watchdog groups will tackle invasions head on in the form of the taking it to the press, or in some instances…taking a party or company to court and the pursuance of law suits.

 

 Testimonials can be found about how watchdog organizations have protected them from being taken advantage of, from being swindled in health care issues to economic security, the attacks on the environment and to an over sense of well being and issues relating to the general quality of life for individuals and communities. Watchdog

groups are there to keep an eye on businesses or other entities, or in some cases individuals. They alert the public when something either has gone awry, or appears to be heading in that direction in the future.

 They act as advocates for the community and for specific individuals in their times of need, when they have been harmed or taken advantage of. The government is not above the eye of certain watchdog organizations, just as the corner tire company is not above their eyes. Greenpeace and Amnesty International are two such groups, that have protected the environment and the rights of people everywhere for many years.

 

But watchdogs do not have to have large organizations behind them. Local people living in small towns, attend town meetings and they pay attentions to things other people either do not notice, or do not have the time to attend to. Subjects of their observation include everything from the kinds of food served in public schools, to the pesticides sprayed on local farms to discrimination or harassment in the workplace. This is becoming a ‘do it yourself’ nation. Citizens are realizing that in order to protect their health and their rights, they must stand up for themselves and for the people in the community. Sometimes the larger watchdog organizations may be there to protect them in their consumer and personal affairs. But more often than not, people are left to fend for themselves and for those whom they love. And in the news each night, there are stories of people doing just that.