Dog Fighting Rings use Coloured Stickers/Ribbons to Identify Houses - Internet/Facebook Rumour

4 Mar 2013 - Article No: 1682. Filed under: General | Internet/Facebook Rumour

Any Perth dog owners beware, leaflet droppers or anyone walking around housing estates.
Keep your eye out for small colored STICKERS on gates or doors, gangs are marking how many dogs live there to steal and they are using them for DOG BAIT FOR FIGHTING.
Ring the police immediately if you see any and inform the home owners. Remove the stickers immediately!
Red stickers are for big dogs
... Yellow for medium and
Pink for small breeds.
Please re-share and keep your dogs safe!
collected March 2013

collected March 2013

collected March 2013

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So there is this tag on my fence. This tag apparently notifies certain horrible excuses for human beings that there is a dog here, and either at night or when no body is home, to come and take that dog. Firstly, you lowlife scum are not getting my dog, period. Secondly, if people can share this to raise awareness around town that this is a big issue at the moment. If you see this tag or any similar markings on your own or anyone elses fence, notify them, get rid of the tag and absolutely notify the police as this is a really big problem in this area and these people need to be found. Or need a bullet. Cheers Folks.
collected June 2013

collected October 2013

If anyone sees any weird markings like these (or anything similar like blue circles) somewhere in their front yard and they have a dog - please keep your dog indoors or something. People are going around AGAIN and stealing staffies (for fighting) and smaller dogs (for bait). They stake your place out and if you have a dog they want they leave this as a mark to come back at a later point with a van or similar!
Please post this and share it around. A friends dog was taken this morning with these markings!
collected February 2014

The above messages are circulating social media and warn recipients about dog fighting rings that according to the warnings are operating in various local neighboorhoods across the world. The messages continue with the assertion that members of the dog fighting rings are using coloured stickers or other identifying signs to mark houses known to contain dogs.

However, even at first glance, these warnings makes little sense. None of the warnings fail to address pertinent questions such as why such criminals go through this inaccurate and risky process of marking houses when they could simply write down the addresses known to house dogs. Identifying houses with stickers or other marks has inherent drawbacks, such as the possibility of getting caught marking a house, or the significant chance that the houseowner will simply remove the identifying mark. The premise of using stickers or ribbons to identify houses with dogs is absurd.

In fact the paranoia of certain coloured stickers utlised to identify houses is a long running legend that is many decades old and has its roots in the classic paranoia-laden conspiracy theory that secret government bodies operating out of sight would mark houses or mailboxes and the specifics of the markings would be used to determine what would happen to the people living in that house when a new "World Order" would take control of the country.

Of course coloured stickers are used for a plethora of much less nefarious and more mundane reasons, such as newspaper delivery staff often use stickers to determine which papers to deliver or how often, or leaflet distributors or charity collectors have been known to label houses they have previously been to avoid duplicate visits.

These warnings also display the classic urban legend red flag in that the same or very similar warnings have popped up quoting many different locations across the world as the alleged location that this incident is occurring.

February 2013 saw the warning using Perth, Australia, claiming that dog thieves were using coloured stickers on gates, different colours designating certain breeds. Only a week later the same warning circulating but quoted Goole, in Yorkshire, UK. A week after that then Ayr and Maybole in Scotland was the location used. June 2013 saw another variant along with a photo of a fence with an orange ribbon or cloth attached to it, but with no location disclosed.

Neither police forces in Perth or Goole mention of such crimes taking place in their jurisdictions. According to this WAToday article, authorities in the Perth area have also dismissed the claims. . None of the other areas mentioning in versions of this hoax, as far as we can see, have issued any warnings about this type of crime.

Messages like this should always be backed up with reputable sources, and the lack of sources, coupled with the illogical claims made in the warning itself, as well as many areas refuting the claims, it is clear that these rumours are not based on true incidents.

Dog fighting rings are real and dogs are stolen to be used in such rings. So all dog owners should always be aware of this and follow sensible cautionary advice. However these rumours detract from a serious crime. We have compiled a list of some good advice from dog owners here.

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