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Circulating Video of Girl Throwing Puppies Causing Outrage

Circulating social media message asks users to share a disturbing video of a young girl throwing puppies into a river.  The message asks for help to identify the girl so that she can be made to pay for her actions.

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© Balint Roxana

Brief Analysis
The video is genuine, but the girl was tracked down and identified several years ago.  The incident, which took place in Bosnia in 2010, was investigated by Bosnian Police at the time. The identity of the girl, who was a juvenile, has never been made public and she was never charged because of her age. The puppies were reportedly saved by a woman downstream, although an animal rights group disputed that claim. Nevertheless, the continued forwarding of the video is pointless and inappropriate.

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After watching this video from one of my FB friends page, I really don't know what to say. 

I'd like to know who this girl was. I'd throw her A$$ in the river.

Share this video around and maybe we can figure out who she is and put some hurt upon her!!!! Lets change her life...

Detailed Analysis

A disturbing video depicting a young girl gleefully thrown six small puppies into a river is currently causing outrage as it circulates. A message that accompanies the video calls for people to continue sharing it in the hope that the girl can be identified and made to suffer for her cruel actions.

The video is genuine and certainly does depict a quite sickening act of cruelty. However, the call to identify the girl is several years too late. Soon after the video first began circulating in 2010, police in Bosnia identified the girl and investigated the incident caught on the video. The name of the girl, who lived in the Bosnian city of Bugojno, was not released because she was a juvenile.

And, because she was under age, the girl was never charged. That decision outraged animal rights activists in Europe.

It was reported to media outlets at the time that all of the puppies were rescued down stream by a woman who found them along the riverbank. However, a spokesperson from animal rights group PETA disputed that claim, suggesting that the puppies would have drowned.

A person who identified herself as the girl in the video quickly posted a second video on YouTube in which she apologised for the incident. In the video, she noted:
I would like to appologize [sic] for my behavior. The puppies belong to my grandma and she told me to get rid off them because they were only 3 days and they were ill. They had parasites from their mother. I didn't knew [sic] exactly what to do so I thrown [sic] them in the river because it was a short death. I did not want to make them suffer. I am really sorry for this:("

However, the apology video was later removed from YouTube.  It remains unclear if the apology video was really made by the girl who threw the puppies.

What is clear is that the continued circulation of this message is now utterly pointless. The girl's identity is known to authorities and they have dealt with the case as they felt appropriate. While many may strongly disagree with the perceived leniency of the Bosnian authorities, baying for the child's blood - and calling for her identity to be made public against the rulings of authorities - is far from helpful.

The video is certainly disturbing. But the call in the message to throw the child in the river and "put some hurt on her" as revenge is also disturbing. Children who commit such acts need responsible intervention, counselling, and - depending on the circumstances - appropriate punishment. Calls for violent retaliation from Internet vigilantes are neither appropriate nor in any way productive.

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Last updated: November 11, 2013
First published: November 11, 2013
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

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