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