Dog Baiters Stealing Dogs in Edinburgh and Lothians? - Internet/Facebook Rumour

30 May 2012 - Article No: 1565. Filed under: General | Internet/Facebook Rumour

URGENT MSG...PLEASE PLEASE Watch out for your dogs. Dog baiters are in edinburgh lothians and spreading fast........they are throwing laced chicken over peoples fences to drug their dogs then stealing them and using them to bait their fighting dogs...3 dogs bodies washed up on the beaches torn to shreds....plz copy and paste and be vigilant with the safety of your dogs...people have been caught and jailed but there r more(mostly foreign). If you find food in your garden contact the police instantly! thanks..

This message is circulating Internet forums and Facebook and claims there are dog baiters in certain areas of Scotland who are stealing dogs to use for bait in dog fighting rings. The message also claims the criminals are using drug laced chicken in order to capture the canines. Additionally the message purports 3 dogs were washed onto an unnamed beach "torn to shreds".

For the most part the message is completely unverified. The message fails to identify any specific locations, breeds of dog, any specific incidents, the name of the beach where the dogs apparently washed up or indeed any sources at all confirming the story.

We contacted the Lothian and Borders police requesting any information they had on the story and they replied that they had "no information supporting these allegations." recieved a fuller reply that stated -

"Good morning, thank you for your email.
I am not aware of incident of this nature occurring within the Lothian and Borders Police area, I’ve certainly not heard of any dead dogs being found which have been “torn to shreds” on any of our beaches.
It’s a very generic post with very little information contained as to what kind of dogs are being stolen, where, by whom etc. I would have expected the creator of the post to contact the police with all the information that they have so that the information can be assessed and relevant enquiries made (if appropriate).
In the absence of said person coming forward I would suspect this to be an attention seeking entry for the social networking masses to respond to. At this time there is nothing to suggest there is any truth the post on Facebook.
If you, or anyone else, notices anything or anyone suspicious in their area then the only advice is to phone the police and report the matter, ideally when the incident is ongoing.

Whilst the abduction of dogs and other animals is a genuine threat even for use for dog fighting (as highlight by this 2011 article that quotes the Edinburgh and Lothians area) there appears to be no sudden surge of any such abductions in these areas during 2012.

Pet owners should always be vigilant with their pets and be aware that such abductions can take place but circulating this message seems to be nothing more than needless scare-mongering based on unverified and baseless allegations.

Additionally we also found no evidence or sources backing up the claims that drug laced chicken is being used as bait or that any dogs "torn to shreds" have been washed up on any Scottish beaches. Such stories would likely be reported on local police websites or by the SSPCA. (the closest story we could find was one dating back to 2011 where two brothers were arrested for dog fighting.)

If you have any credible sources or evidence backing up the claims made in the message then feel free to email us as well as contact your local police.

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