Facebook dog-napping hoax goes national

A SOCIAL media storm that erupted yesterday after reports of a busted dog-napping ring at Redbank Plains has been confirmed as a hoax.

Ipswich police were bombarded with phone calls from people all over Australia when anti dog-fighting activists posted on Facebook that "a shedful of stolen dogs had been found on Henty Dr".

The speculation went viral within minutes with hundreds of users replying with descriptions of their allegedly stolen pets in the hope they might be located.

One group which posted the information was Aussies Fighting Against Dog Fighting. Its post was shared more than 2300 times.

While it is unknown where the speculation originated, a Queensland police spokesperson said the claims were untrue. Ipswich police had received calls from Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and and as far away as Western Australia.

"Police have not located a shed or garage in the Redbank Plains/Ipswich area (or anywhere in the Brisbane area) containing stolen dogs," QPS responded on their Facebook page. Any rumours circulating Facebook that we have are completely false.

"Unfortunately in this case an unfounded rumour is being spread ... It was causing some distress to owners of dogs and we have been approached by officers from Ipswich who confirm no such discovery by police."

RSPCA Queensland spokesman Michael Beatty said the animal welfare organisation's inspectors had no reports of an alleged bust.

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