Brazil police rescue dog becomes internet sensation
By John Rueter
17 July 2012
On Saturday morning, Brazilian police in the capital city of Brasilia received hundreds of panicked phone calls from citizens who had spotted a canine being held captive in a locked cage in a parking lot. They wanted to know what was going on.
The animal, an American Pit Bull Terrier, had been taken from her home Saturday by a policeman. It was unclear how many times the dog had been rescued; police described her to journalists as “unwell.”
The public was told that the dog was being held at an unnamed police station, with a “specialized team” of officers who were working on rescuing animals in the area. Initially, the story gained significant attention on the Internet, garnering more than one million views on YouTube.
The ensuing coverage was a complete fabrication.
According to the police, the dog was seized from three different people and taken to the station on Saturday. They had been turned over by the police as part of a routine investigation into a traffic violation. The officers involved had been investigating a theft in the vehicle.
However, the dog had been taken into custody in what is known as a “bargaining system” of the Brazilian police force, in which people in a community are allowed to take possession of animals that are being used for criminal investigations. In this manner, the dogs are handed over to criminal investigators for questioning.
Even if the dog had been seized from a criminal investigator, she never would have been handed over to police for use in an investigation. As the local press reported, the animal was taken from a police station by a police officer, according to the official statement made by the police.
Furthermore, the dog would not have been transferred to the criminal investigator’s custody. An animal seized from a police station would first have been turned over to a veterinarian, according to Brazilian law, and then to the police. This would have taken several hours, depending upon