Circulating social media message featuring an image depicting pieces of cheese with nails embedded in them warns that such booby-trapped dog treats are the latest trend in dog parks.
The photograph relates to a real incident that occurred in a park in Buenos Aires, Argentina back in July 2011. A dog walker in the city’s Centennial Park found several items of food laced with nails. Since then, there have been a very small number of similar incidents in other locations around the world. Certainly, dog owners should remain vigilant. However, calling the incidents a ‘new trend’ in dog parks significantly overstates the issue.
Dog owners please be aware this seems to be the latest trends in dog parks please be careful & Please Share !!
This social media-driven message, which features a photograph depicting a handful of cheese pieces with nails embedded in them, warns dog owners that such booby-trapped treats are the latest trend in dog parks. The message reminds dog owners to be careful and asks that they share the information as a warning to others.
The photograph illustrates an incident that reportedly took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina back in 2011. According to a July 2011 news report, a person walking dogs in the dog area of the city’s Centennial Park discovered various food items spread around that contained embedded nails. The article includes the same photograph featured in the circulating warning.
While certainly concerning for dog owners who used Centennial Park, I could find no credible 2011 reports of further such incidents at the park or elsewhere in Argentina.
Despite this, the picture, along with the accompanying warning message, quickly went viral via social media and has circulated ever since. The message specifies neither a time frame nor a location for the pictured incident. The generic nature of the message means that it has raised concern among dog owners, not just in Buenos Aires, but all around the world.
Since the original 2011 incident, a small number of similar occurrences have been reported in other parts of the world.
In January 2013, dog walkers in Abergavenny, South Wales discovered nail spiked sausages that had clearly been left for dogs to find and eat.
In another January 2013 incident in Canton, Michigan, meat and fish pieces impregnated with needles and pins were found scattered around a park. Two dogs reportedly underwent surgery after eating some of the laced treats.
And, of course, over many years, there have been reported incidents of dog baiting in parks and neighbourhoods in various locations around the world, apparently from people who hate dogs.
Thus, dog owners should certainly remain vigilant when out and about with their animals.
Nevertheless, a few isolated and apparently unrelated incidents in different parts of the world do not constitute a trend. Circulating the same image of the nail laced cheese with a caption that implies that such incidents are regularly occurring and widespread is misleading.