A shelter where staff have foregone sleep to care for rescued animals, now find precious staff hours are being spent answering the phone. The phone is not ringing off the hook today with offers of much needed help, but rather with outraged callers who think the shelter is euthanizing people’s pets – in particular a certain Rottweiler. It is not true.
The shelter has tried to respond online, pleading:
“THIS STORY IS COMPLETELY FALSE! THE DOGS AT THIS SHELTER ARE NOT IN DANGER OF BEING EUTHANISED!
It’s sad to think that someone is so COLD HEARTED to post a scam like this and waste the time of so many of us that have spend hours and hours without sleep trying to help REUNITE people and their pets due to this terrible disaster.”
Rumors flew around the Internet today about a high school where 80 dogs in the basement will be killed if not claimed. It is not true. The dogs are not in any danger. Their families are upstairs in the people part of the shelter. The animals were being inventoried to be helped.
This reporter is not using the names of the shelter or the high school because they do not need more negative attention.
Volunteers at the FaceBook page, Hurricane Sandy Lost & Found Pets, who are rushing to post photos of lost and found animals, found themselves scrubbing their page today of these false stories. (Even now this reporter got an IM; “just deleted the Rotti . . . again.)
In any disaster people want to help by sharing information. This makes it easy for hoaxers to make up and spread malicious stories. A lie once posted is re-posted by others who are well-intentioned and eager to help. From there the story spreads, clogging the rescue effort as well as inboxes.
These particular stories may end now the truth is out, but others will take their place. You will make a contribution to the rescue effort if you hit delete instead of share.
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