In Philadelphia, the owner of a Rottweiler claims a Facebook photo of her dog prompted people to impersonate Animal Control officers from the Pennsylvania SPCA and illegally seize her dog, reports NbcPhiladelphiaNews.
According to Brenda Johnson, the owner of an eight-year-old dog named King, a group of rescuers showed up at her home on Tuesday in Northeast Philadelphia and demanded the dog removed due to poor care and inadequate living conditions. Johnson stated the group identified themselves as being from the Pennsylvania SPCA and told her a series of photographs appearing on Facebook showed the dog hanging from weather stripping outside of a garage. Johnson stated the picture reflects the dog jumping in the air, and that her garage is climate controlled where King frequently sleeps.
They demanded the dog which led an investigation to a rescue organization upstate. George Bengal, PSPCA Director of Humane Enforcement, said there had been a previous investigation when the same photos had circulated on Facebook last year. The dog was found to be in good health and treated well. On Friday, King was returned to Johnson. “You can look at my animal, he doesn’t look like he’s abused, he’s healthy, he’s been registered to the state,” Johnson said. Bengal explained that photos don’t necessarily tell the entire story, and it isn’t in the best interests of anyone or any animal to impersonate an officer and remove someone’s pet from their home. The Pennsylvania SPCA and police are not planning to file charges against the unnamed rescuers or the organization, however King stated she planned to file a complaint with the state and a civil lawsuit.
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