A cruel hoax that preys on the good nature of animal lovers continues to circulate via email and online message boards. The message arrives with several photographs of adorable Golden Retriever puppies and claims that the animals will be put down if they do not find new homes in the near future.
The claims in the message are untrue. Variations of the message, with identical puppy pictures, have been circulating for several years. Even if the original version of the message was authentic, these dogs would have either been put down years ago or long since found new homes.
Although all versions of this hoax travel with the same puppy photographs, there are significant differences in the details of the messages. Different contact information is used and the puppies supposedly reside in different areas of the United States, Canada and elsewhere.
Clearly, hoaxsters occasionally alter some of the details in the messages before sending them on. Astute pranksters know that pictures of cute animals or children along with a sad cover story is a very effective method of convincing recipients to click the “Forward” button without too much forethought. Many charity hoaxes use this tactic.
The WKRC 12 Cincinnati website reports how one animal-loving local woman fell victim to the hoax and added her own contact details to the message in good faith. After discovering that the message was a hoax, she was subsequently inundated with enquiries about the puppies.
Given the variations in these messages, there is no easy way of verifying the true whereabouts or current status of the puppies depicted in the photographs. However, considering that the photographs first began circulating back in 2002, the continued forwarding of the message is clearly pointless. If the animals shown in the photographed survived, they are certainly no longer puppies.
Please do not perpetrate this hoax by forwarding it on to others.
I just got this email from someone i work with! Does anyone need a Golden Retriever for free? They are adorable! If i wasnt allergic id take one. He better not put them down! If anyone is interested send me an email and ill forward it to them. Or contact the lady below.
Just in case you know anyone looking for cute puppies…Free puppies that will be put down if no one takes them… Do you know anyone who would want one? There are some golden retriever pups that need a home. Please contact her if you are interested.
Even if you’re not interested, spread the word in order to save these puppies. If you are interested, or if you know anyone who would like a free Golden Retriever puppy (pictures attached), contact Mrs. Gaelle Wenger at email@example.com. If they do not get adopted, these puppies will unfortunately have to be put down
Attached are photos of beautiful Golden Retriever puppies that are unfortunately under the care of an owner who will put them down if not adopted. They are full bred Goldens (according to the email).
If you can help save these puppies, please call Jessica [Name removed], at [Phone number removed]. Jessica is not the owner, but an aquaintence of the owner.
If you can, PLEASE FORWARD this email to anyone you can, so we can save these puppies! Thank you!
Subject: FW: golden retriever pups need a home! Date: Mon, 9 Dec 2002 Anyone know someone who might take one of these pups, unfortunately irresponsible people who don’t have there dogs taken care of will be putting them to sleep soon if they don’t find a home. Wish I could take one but I can’t.
Anyone looking for a new friend or need a really cute holiday gift? A great Christmas present! I don’t know how long they will be available.
They are going to be put to sleep in two weeks if they don’t get a home.
See the pics. attached.
Contact this person if your interested:
Will be put down if not taken!
Date: Jan 29, 2006 9:42 AM
golden ret puppies Lex, KY, will be put down if not taken,
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!