An online petition claims the City of Houston is planning a major sweep to euthanize stray animals before the Super Bowl.
It is titled, “Please Tell Houston Not To Kill Homeless Dogs For The Super Bowl."
Over the course of 24 hours, the petition was shared and signed well over 9,000 times.
However, Ashtyn Rivet, spokesperson for BARC Animal Shelters and Adoptions, says the information in the petition is false.
The shelter has received numerous concerned phone calls, emails and social media posts about the claims.
“Unfortunately, the petition is based on completely untrue, rumored information,” Rivet said. “When rumors like this spread, it has become national. Unfortunately, it isn’t true. People question our mission and vision to save as many Houston animals as possible.”
The petition on change.org was created by a non-profit organization based in California called “I Stand With My Pack,” which promotes humane alternatives to euthanasia.
The group says Houstonians told them about the City’s Super Bowl plan.
They were also made aware of a previous effort to round up strays in early 2016, after city leaders reported several people were mauled by dangerous animals. $50,000 was allocated towards the initiative.
“When we were alerted to this, we thought that this is something we should specifically work on. We want to work with the Houston community and local organizations to come up with humane solutions that will be beneficial to the animals and the community,” said Taryn Larock with I Stand With My Pack.
Friday afternoon, the non-profit updated the petition saying BARC was not planning a stray sweep.
The update read:
“BREAKING NEWS! We were just informed that the city of Houston's BARC will announce today that they will not plan another homeless dog roundup, as the city of Houston did it 2016. Houston officials will therefore not kill any homeless dogs before the Super Bowl! We welcome this great news, and would and very grateful for this positive decision made by city officials and BARC, and would like to thank each of you for standing up for your Houston homeless animal pack, and the Houston community of animal lovers.”
They added, “I Stand With My Pack is proud to be teaming up with NYBC to go to Houston, and we will be working with the Houston community, local veterinarians, animal organizations, and rescues to help raise awareness and assist in implementing solutions for Houston’s homeless pet crisis.”