Halloween marks the return of National Kill a Pit Bull Day… and you’ll be happy to know that it’s every bit as fictitious this year as it was last year.
The hoax started in 2012 with the emergence of a grammar-challenged flyer warning that October 31 “is trying to become National Kill a Pit Bull Day.” The flyer goes on to quote the supposed organizer of the unholy new holiday inviting people to get together with friends and family and kill as many Pit Bulls as they can before midnight.
Yeah, right. For the record, there is no such thing as “National Kill a Pit Bull Day.” This is just a poorly executed (but strangely effective) hoax. Here’s what the highly unconvincing flyer looks like so you can recognize it when it pops up in your Facebook feed:
Remember when hoaxes were at least somewhat plausible? Come on people, make Snopes work a little. No one could possibly fall for this.
And yet here we are talking about it for the second year in a row. That’s because the faux warning went viral on the internet in 2012 and is now making the rounds once again. A lot of well-meaning people are apparently being fooled into sharing this crude fraud with their dog-loving friends and family.
While most urban legends seem to exist for the sole purpose of tricking people, this one seems to be about something else.
The flyer attributes the dog-killing campaign to Terry Jordan, a City Councilman in Slater, Missouri. In 2012, Jordan helped pass vicious dog legislation, which apparently pissed someone off enough to produce the flyer as a sort of slander campaign. When the flyer first went viral, Jordan had to field calls from outraged dog owners throughout the country. We can only hope he’s changed his phone number since then.
Of course, there’s nothing new about urban legends involving house pets being killed on Halloween. Reports of Satanic sacrifices have even prompted some shelters to refuse to adopt out black cats at this time of year.
However, evidence and common sense suggest that organized efforts to abuse animals are exceedingly rare. Pets may have a lot of reasons to hate Halloween, but widespread animal sacrifice isn’t one of them.
This bit of flimflam might be laughable if it weren’t a reminder of all the actual, everyday, non-ritualistic instances of dog abuse. This year’s “National Kill a Pit Bull Day” is particularly unfunny in light of the “Puppy Doe” case in Massachusetts. On August 31, a tortured and half-starved Pit Bull was found near a park in Quincy. Her injuries were so severe and agonizing that she had to be euthanized.
Police are still looking for the real-life monsters who committed the Puppy Doe atrocity. The case has struck a nerve with dog lovers, who have held candlelight vigils, raised reward money for information leading to the offenders’ arrest, and clamored for a national animal abuser registry.