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Issue 135 - July 2012 (2nd Edition) - Page 3

Facebook Warning Message - 'Animals in Danger on'

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Message circulating rapidly on Facebook warns that animals advertised as free on Craigslist are being acquired by a group of shooters who then take them to a remote location and use them for target practice. The message claims that a police report has been filed with the Marion County Sheriff's Office and urges anyone with any knowledge of the animal abuse to report it immediately.

Brief Analysis
The claims in the warning message remain unsubstantiated. The Marion County Sheriff's Office has been receiving calls from concerned citizens about the supposed crimes as a result of the circulating warning. However, the Sheriff's Office has stated that they have been unable to confirm that any such incidents have taken place and that the warning may well be a hoax. And, despite the claim in the message, the Sheriff's Office dispatch center has stated that no reports of an incident like the one described have actually been filed with the office.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.

Last updated: July 10, 2012
First published: July 10, 2012
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
Research by David White, Brett Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Warning! Animals are in danger on

Please take all "Free Pets" off of Craigslist until this person(s) can be stopped.

Craigslist Animal Danger Warning

Detailed Analysis
This message which is currently circulating rapidly around Facebook and other social media sites, warns that animals advertised as "free to good homes" on are in great danger. According to the message, a group of people are procuring such free animals and subsequently using them for shooting target practice. The message describes an incident in which dogs and cats were released from pet carriers at a remote location near Scots Mills, Oregon and shot at by a small group of people, resulting in the death of some of the animals. The message suggests that a witness to the crime overheard the perpetrators talking about how they had acquired the animals via local Craigslist "free pet" ads. The warning claims that a police report about the incident has been filed with the Marion County (Oregon) Sheriff's Office and urges anyone with information about the case to contact the office immediately.

However, the claims in the message remain unsubstantiated. Marion County Sheriff's Office has indeed been receiving calls about the alleged incident from concerned local citizens, but only in RESPONSE to the circulated warning. In fact, according to a KOIN Local 6 news report about the warning, there is no record that the incident described was actually reported to police as claimed in the message:

KOIN Local 6 called the Sheriff's Office dispatch center Saturday afternoon and spoke with one of the dispatchers. The dispatcher checked over his records and was unable to locate any call matching one as portrayed in the warning graphic.

Marion County Sheriff's Office told that they have been unable to confirm that the acts described are taking place and that the warning may be a hoax. The Sheriff's Office has since told reporters that they would not be assigning additional resources to the alleged incident unless they received tangible or verifiable information to work with. They note however, that the office would certainly take action if they found that such animal abuse incidents were really taking place. They advise that people who have information that might help police ascertain if the claims are true or false should still contact the Sheriff's Office.

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Is Craigslist a source for animal abuse?
Is Craigslist pet scheme a social media hoax?

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Issue 135 Start Menu

Pages in this issue:
  1. Facebook Charity Hoax - Share Picture to Help Starving Children
  2. Hoax - Facebook Will Donate $1 Per Share For Baby With Cancer
  3. Facebook Warning Message - 'Animals in Danger on'
  4. Hoax - Justin Bieber Helped Girl Raped After His Concert
  5. Facebook Phishing And Survey Scam
  6. Scam Alert - 'Obama's New Stimulus' Routing Number to Pay Utility Bills
  7. Fruit Shoot Drink Recall Warning
  8. Facebook Share Hoax - $1.20 Per Share to Help Girl With Cancer
  9. $50,000 Facebook Reward Survey Scam
  10. Most Beautiful Horse in the World Image
  11. Windows Live Email Limit Exceeded Phishing Scam
  12. ABSA Phishing Scam Emails