CREATED Oct. 8, 2012
DESERT HOT SPRINGS-- An Internet posting gone viral has animal rights activists up in arms.
The posting urges people to go out and kill Pit Bull Terriers on Halloween.
Whether it's an Internet hoax or not, animal rights groups here in the Coachella Valley are taking the threat of National Kill a Pit Bull Night very seriously, worried people might try to hurt the dogs.
We also learned black cats are targeted this time of year, reportedly used for ritual sacrifices.
"Fear set in because Pit Bulls are already a misunderstood breed and I felt like somebody's really going to do this and it was just complete fear," said JJ Ruch owner of JW Dogs Dog Training and Save-A-Pet volunteer.
The posting first popped up on Tumblr and reads in part, "I'm here by announcing October 31st Kill a Pit Bull Day. After you take the kids trick or treating, keep your costume on, round up some friends and kill as many Pit Bulls as you can before midnight."
As a precaution at Save-A-Pet no black cats or Pit Bulls will be adopted out for the entire month of October. Also on Halloween night they'll have someone on full patrol for the entire night to make sure all of the animals are safe.
But the question still remains, who would make such a gruesome proclamation? The poster goes by the name of Terry Jordan but the original message was re-posted too many times to track him down.
"It made me feel sick to my stomach," Ann Woods, Director at Save-A-Pet said. "You can't punish someone for what they're thinking or what they're saying, only what they're doing, so you have to protect the animal and make sure it doesn't happen."
The damage may already be done, and animal rights groups are doing everything they can to make sure Kill a Pit Bull Night doesn't happen.
In a separate pitbull event, this one celebrating the breed in Palm Springs, the first annual Palm Springs Neighborhood Pit Bull Day honoring America's dog will take place the weekend of October 13th.
Neighborhood Pit Bull Day - hosted by Friends of the Palm Springs Animal Shelter - is a fun, family-friendly event for Pit Bull Terriers and the people who love them. The two part event starts with a "Pittie Party" in Demuth Park, Palm Springs, from 10:00am - 1:00pm, on Saturday, October 13. The Pittie Party will include:
- Low-cost vaccinations for ALL breeds, including $5 rabies vaccinations, $15 DAPP (distemper, hepatitis, parinfluenza, and parvovirus), and $15 Bordatella
- Low-cost micro-chipping for ALL breeds
- Dog licensing for Palm Springs pet guardians
- Free Spay/Neuter sign-ups for eligible Palm Springs Pit Bulls (and Pit Bull mixes)