Claim: Abandoned puppies shown in an Internet-circulated photo need homes.
Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2003]
This past weekend my husband found near a trash bin
Maria M. Alvarez
Origins: Sometimes even when the causes are real, the inherently nebulous nature of pleas forwarded on the Internet renders them all but useless. This is the story of a group of puppies whose plight and rescue were real, but who will now continue to exist in the minds of many as just having been pulled from a dumpster “this past weekend” and still in desperate need of good homes. (“This past weekend” and other time-specific terms we normally use to place events within a frame of context lose meaning in cyberspace, where such pleas live on for years.)
the time issue, most often
Larry Powell of the Dallas Morning News performed the herculean task of tracking the
Yet the puppies’ change in circumstance did not halt the spread of the plea to come to their aid. Maria’s
Many of the forwards had long since parted ways with Maria’s contact information (the original listed her phone number), but enough of them survived intact that she and her family have been inundated with calls about the dogs:
She said she was surprised to find responses from outside her circle of acquaintances. “I got over a hundred responses — maybe 200 — at my work. My husband got another 50 or 100 at home.”
Those who continue to be moved by the sorry fact that these puppies were left to die should give serious thought to adopting other equally needy pets from their local shelters. That these nine found homes doesn’t mean there aren’t so many others who won’t and who will instead be put down after waiting for loving new owners that never come along. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), each year up to 60% of dogs and up to 70% of cats that enter shelters will die because there is no one to adopt them. Animal People, an independent publication based in Washington state, estimates the number of dogs and cats destroyed in 2001 was
Barbara “help save a friend” Mikkelson
Update: In September 2007 the following adoption appeal for black labrador puppies began circulating:
Forwarded from a friend – please forward to anyone you know that may be able to help or is interested in adopting.
Scott rescued 6 black lab (mix) puppies out of the middle of the road on Saturday. PLEASE help me find them homes – otherwise, it’s Animal Control – which means they only have
I have attached a picture of them — if I could take them all I would do so in a heartbeat, however, I am unable to do so with a dog and cat already in my home. If you know anyone that is looking for a puppy — especially a black lab, please let me know.
Also, if you could forward this to others, I’d really appreciate it.
This appears to have been a genuine appeal that began as a Craigslist posting, but although the person whose name and phone number were listed on the earliest
The labrador puppies appeal was quickly followed in October 2007 by one about
Alza Corporation, a Johnson & Johnson Company, is closing their Mountain View, CA. facility.
The animal test facility has 40, 16 month old beagle puppies that need good loving homes. These dogs were NEVER tested.
If you know of anyone, a rescue or are interested in helping give these puppies homes, please contact Rick Bible at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The facility manager will have to put them to sleep if no homes are found by
Thanks for your help!!!
But ALZA said the message was a misunderstanding, and that they had no puppies up for public adoption:
Unfortunately, inaccurate and misleading information has been circulating on the Internet about ALZA’s plans for dogs housed at its campus. There is no public adoption program. The animals will be properly cared for and relocated to a different facility when ALZA closes at the end of the year. We regret this unfortunate misunderstanding and appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts with us.
Last updated: 4 August 2011
Powell, Larry. “E-mail Plea Spreads.” The Dallas Morning News. 24 May 2003 (p. 40).