Post about injured dog found on ‘side road’ in Northern Ireland is fake

9 March 2023
What was claimed

An injured dog has been found on a side road after a hit-and-run incident in Cookstown, Northern Ireland.

Our verdict

This is a hoax post. The picture of the dog has been taken from a 2020 news article about an incident involving a dog in Pembrokeshire, Wales.

A post on Facebook, shared more than 400 times, claims that a dog injured in a hit-and-run incident has been found in a side road in Cookstown, Northern Ireland. 

The full post says: “Hello. If anyone is looking for this sweet boy, found him lying on the side road in #cookstown He was hit by a car in a hit and run incident. I took him to the vet he is not chipped I know someone is looking for him. Please bump this post to help me find the owner.”

This is not a real appeal for help. The wording is almost identical to a number of hoax posts we have written about before, and the photo used in the post has been taken from a 2020 news article about a dog injured after falling from a roof in Pembrokeshire, Wales. 

We have fact checked many similar posts in the past which make false claims about lost puppies, missing children and pensioners, and abandoned babies

These posts are often shared in local “buy and sell” Facebook groups, where social media users are urged to share them. 

One common sign that they are fake, as Derbyshire Police have previously warned, is when the comments have been turned off to prevent people from questioning the veracity of the claims. 

The motivation behind these false posts isn’t always clear, but we’ve seen a number of cases where they were edited after reaching a large number of people in order to advertise housing or survey websites. 

It’s always worth checking whether content is real before you share it. We have written a guide on how to verify viral images which you can read here.

Image courtesy of Glen Carrie 

Full Fact fights bad information

Bad information ruins lives. It promotes hate, damages people’s health, and hurts democracy. You deserve better.