SALT LAKE CITY – A social media trend has left many Twitter users and pet owners infuriated.
“I’m surprised it’s even happening because it seems so absurd,” said Deann Shephard from the Humane Society of Utah.
The trend encourages people to find pit bulls or get them from online classifieds with the intent of dropping them off at a shelter. It’s being called #PitBullDropOff. From there, the hope is the dogs will be euthanized.
“It doesn’t get me riled up because I think the whole point of that is to get people riled up,” said Emma Wall, who stopped at the shelter Monday to adopt a pitbull named Jasmine.
“We’ve been looking for a dog for about a year now and finally we found her. Pits are the most cuddly dogs. I feel sadness, because these dogs are wonderful creatures.”
Some of the tweets include messages like:
“Been clearing out craigslist in my area. It’s rightfully illegal to own pitbulls in Ontario. So, when I drop them off at the pound, they’ll take care of the rest. #pitbulldrop off”
“After a nice long sleep-in this morning, it’s time to go out and pick up some more pitbulls to take to the pound.”
Users of the social media site 4chan were quick to post encouraging people to fan the flames and post additional tweets in favor of euthanasia. It reads:
“All you have to do is post a photo of a pitbull you say you picked up and dropped off at a kill shelter under #pitbulldropoff…. Rinse and repeat for a maximum pitmommie hysteria.”
It may all be a hoax geared to riling up pitbull fans, but the Humane Society of Utah says it highlights a very real problem.
“Online ads really are an unsafe place because you don’t really know who is coming to pick up your animal,” Shephard said.
She encourages anyone looking to sell their pitbull to drop it off at a shelter, most in Utah are no-kill shelters. From there, she said they will help interview owners first hand to make sure their intentions are legitimate.