Police: Animal cruelty report was hoax

Published 10:21 pm Monday, December 28, 2015

The Alabaster Police Department is investigating a social media report of alleged animal cruelty. (File)

The Alabaster Police Department investigated a social media report of alleged animal cruelty on Dec. 28. The report was a hoax, police said. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – The Alabaster Police Department has determined a Dec. 28 report of animal cruelty in the city, in which a woman allegedly claimed on social media she killed a neighbor’s dog for coming onto her property, is a hoax.

APD launched an investigation after a woman listing an Alabaster hometown on Facebook allegedly posted a photo of a dead, bloody dog along with a caption reading “This is what happens if you don’t keep your dog off my (expletive) yard!” The post listed a Dec. 28 date, and the person’s Facebook account was deleted soon after the post was made.

In comments after the photo was posted, the woman allegedly claimed her actions were an effort to protect chickens on her property.

“As previously stated, we have conducted an investigation into this matter. Upon investigation, both of these individual’s profiles had all the hallmarks of a ‘troll account,’” read a Dec. 29 APD Facebook post. “If you are not familiar with a troll account, this is a fake account set up by an individual (or individuals) for the purpose of posting upsetting things while under the guise of this potentially fake identity. These individuals will then go to a group or individual pages and say things to try to illicit a strong response.”

After looking into the alleged incident, the APD determined the photos posted by the fake account were from an incident in Greece in 2014.

“After our initial assessment, we have discovered that the photos posted by the female showing the deceased dog were in fact, from an article regarding a dog that was killed in Greece in 2014,” read the Dec. 29 post. “We do sincerely hope that those of you that were sharing this information on social media will please share this post as well.

“We appreciate those that took the time to notify us of the alleged abuse and hope that the next time you see something you believe to be illegal, you again will contact the appropriate police agency for investigation,” read the APD post. “We also appreciate the messages we received, allowing us the time to investigate this matter.”