Fact Check

Did Two Men Cut off a Dog's Ears?

A photograph showing two men standing next to a dog whose ears they had apparently cut off went viral in January 2017.

Published Jan 19, 2017

Image Via Shutterstock
A photograph shows two men standing next to a dog who had its ears cut off.

In January 2017, a photograph appeared and was subsequently widely circulated that appeared to show two men standing over a dog that had just had its ears cut off:

dog ears

The images sparked a rash of internet outrage, and eventually led to a petition:

The photos of a dog with both of his ears cut off have gone viral on social media. I set up this petition because I want to bring justice to this defenseless animal and I demand that the monsters responsible for this are held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.

These are real images.  While news stories concerning the incident were widely published on Turkish media web sites, we have yet to find an English-language report. Through Google translate, however, we were able to piece together some background information.

  • The incident occurred in Isparta, Turkey.
  • The two individuals pictured above were detained by police and fined 4,404 lira (approximately $1150)
  • The incident was likely related to rooster and dog fighting.
  • As of this writing, the dog in the above photograph is still missing.

Unfortunately, Isparta wasn't the only location in the world to witness animal abuse during the first few days of 2017. The Michigan Humane Society offered $2,500 for any information about a Rottweiler who had had its ears and nose cut off:

“It appears that someone purposely maimed this poor dog, which has caused it a great deal of suffering,” said Mark Ramos, one of MHS’ lead cruelty investigators. “This kind of cruelty is unacceptable. We need to be a voice for these animals and as a community we need to speak through our strong actions to make sure this doesn’t happen again."


haberay.com.tr.   "Brutality Detention in Isparta."     17 January 2017.

Vehaber.org.   "The Attackers Who Cut Off the Puppy's Ear Were Released."     17 January 2017.

Detroit Free Press.   "Dog Found in Detroit with Nose, Ears Chopped Off."     18 January 2017.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.