canada africa partner reservation The story claims a toddler was missing for two days until a vet checked her pit bull. Here’s the truth

The story claims a toddler was missing for two days until a vet checked her pit bull. Here’s the truth

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In April 2024, a rumor circulated on both Facebook and Instagram about a story about a veterinarian who supposedly believed a pit bull had something to do with the disappearance of a toddler. This story was shown to users as paid advertisements and read: “Toddler is missing for two days until vet checks her pit bull.”

During our research, we quickly discovered that this particular story was not true. However, we also discovered that the story seemed to be inspired by a real-life disappearance of a little girl and her pit bull.

In this article, we first look at the fake story that takes place in Arkansas and circulated in late April and early May. We then follow up with details about the true story that unfolded in Kentucky in 2018.

The false story

Facebook and Instagram ads leading to the fake story included three photos. We found that several versions of the ads were active and shown to users as of May 1, 2024. Using a reverse image search, we successfully traced the photo of the woman hugging the dog to a real and completely unrelated news story from 2023, about a dog being reunited with its owner in Oklahoma after being missing for almost three years .

An online story claimed that a toddler had been missing for two days until rescuers spotted a pit bull wandering into the yard and also called a vet.An online story claimed that a toddler had been missing for two days until rescuers spotted a pit bull wandering into the yard and also called a vet.

An online story claimed that a toddler had been missing for two days until rescuers spotted a pit bull wandering into the yard and also called a vet.

Users who clicked on one of the ads were taken to a long, 70-slide article hosted at motormastermind.com or theparentingspot.com. The story started like this:

Toddler had been missing for two days until rescuers spotted Pit Bull wandering into the yard

Panic gripped the small town of Eureka Springs, Arkansas, as news spread of the disappearance of four-year-old Lucy Campbell. The city was thrown into chaos as they tried to make sense of it all.

Search parties scoured every inch of the neighborhood, desperate for any trace of the toddler.

Lucy’s parents, Grace and Greg, were beside themselves with worry.

At the end of this very long fictional story, 2-year-old toddler Lucy is found safe in the home of her father’s mistress. Their dog, Rocky, was also found safe. Police then arrested the mistress, while the woman filed for divorce.

A small piece of text at the top of the article read: “Disclaimer: For entertainment purposes only. Enjoy!” A second disclaimer at the end of the story also added: “All events, places and characters are products of the author’s imagination, and all images and videos are used for illustrative purposes only.”

We found no record of any such disappearance of toddlers in the small town of Eureka Springs, and there is no mention of a veterinarian in the entire article—despite the promise that a “vet” would be involved, as the Facebook and Instagram ads said.

The story that appears in Facebook ads is somewhat similar to Peeping Tom. The term is defined by Dictionary.com as “stories, often sent by email, that are supposed to be true and uplifting but are often fictional and sentimental.”

The true story

Although the story of the toddler’s disappearance in Eureka Springs was made up for “entertainment” purposes, it appeared to be inspired by a true story.

On June 11, 2018, WGN-TV published a story with the headline: “Pit Bull Helps Missing 2-Year-Old Survive Nearly Two Days in the Woods.” The article reported the details of the disappearance of a 2-year-old girl, Charlee Campbell, and her pit bull, Penny, in Lebanon Junction, Kentucky. The surname Campbell was the same surname used in the fictional story.

The Facebook and Instagram ads leading to the fake story seemed to indicate that a pit bull may have been responsible for the disappearance of a toddler, while the true story clearly showed positive efforts by a real pit bull.

The article started as follows:

LEBANON JUNCTION, Ky. – A toddler missing in Kentucky for nearly two days was found alive Friday, and her family says her dog is the reason she survived.

Charlee Campbell, 2, and her pit bull Penny emerged from the woods in Lebanon Junction after mysteriously disappearing early Thursday morning, WAVE reported.

“This is our hero right here,” said Beth Campbell, Charlee’s grandmother, as she petted Penny. Campbell said she believes Penny stayed by Charlee’s side the entire time she was gone.

To further read the true story, we found Facebook posts published by the Bullitt County Sheriff’s Office at the time of Charlee’s disappearance. An article from Louisville’s WHAS11.com also reported more details about the aftermath of the case.

Sources:

“Bullitt County Sheriff’s Office.” Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/bullittsheriff.

Fountaine, Heather. “Charges filed, questions remain in case of missing Bullitt County girl.” WHAS11.comJune 12, 2018, https://www.whas11.com/article/news/local/police-pursue-charges-against-grandmother-in-missing-child-case/417-563717583.

“Peeking.” Dictionary.comhttps://www.dictionary.com/browse/glurge.

Smith, Sara. “Seminole County dog ​​found missing in Maud for nearly three years, reunited with owners.” KTULJanuary 9, 2023, https://ktul.com/newsletter-daily/seminole-county-dog-missing-for-nearly-three-years-found-in-maud-reunited-with-owners-capone-mastiff-candace- harjo-wewoka-police-animal-control-puppy-facebook-social-media-.

Tribune Media Wire. “Pit Bull Helps Missing Two-Year-Old Survive Nearly Two Days in the Forest.” WGN TVJune 11, 2018, https://wgntv.com/news/dog-helps-missing-2-year-old-survive-for-nearly-two-days-in-the-woods/.

“VIDEO: Bullitt Co. Sheriff Questions Missing Girl Wandered Through Woods Alone.” WDRBJune 11, 2018, https://www.wdrb.com/news/video-bullitt-co-sheriff-doubts-missing-girl-was-wandering-the-woods-alone/article_2d0e3897-d772-55d8-91f8-1705fbba9fe1 . html.