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Animal killing Halloween hoax has dog lovers concerned

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- An internet rumor about killing pit bulls on Halloween has some in the Milwaukee area worried about the well-being of their pets. In 2012, a fake text message out of Missouri got the rumor mill running.

The rumor has gone viral and some internet sites have designated October 31st "National Kill a Pit Bull Day."

Marla Lichtenberger, owner of the Milwaukee Emergency Center for Animals (MECA) has been researching the horrifying rumors. She says she's disgusted and hoping the whole thing is just a hoax.

"Take the kids out trick-or-treating and then you round-up some friends and kill as many pit bulls as you can before midnight,"Lichtenberger read from an internet post. "Baseball bats, knives and poisons -- example: hot dog soaked in radiator fluid works well."

Todd Thurber has worked with several pit bulls at his Come, Sit, Stay and Play Dog-ucation Center. He says while he's fairly certain the designated day is a Halloween hoax, others may not be convinced.

"One of my worries was that, boy people are going to see this and they either are going to not think it's a hoax, or you're going to get people who are maybe a little sub-standard jumping on the bandwagon and start doing things they shouldn't be doing," said Thurber.

The concerns have Thurber and those at MECA warning pit bull owners to protect their pets.

"Keep your animals safe and, tonight, keep them in the house or watch over them if you take them outside," said Lichtenberger.

Staff members at MECA were contacted by the National Animal Law Coalition late Thursday afternoon to confirm that "National Kill a Pit Bull Day" is, in fact, a hoax.

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