The Jefferson County Sheriff's Department confirmed Sunday that pit bulls and other animal breeds were not being euthanized, as claimed by rumors circulating widely on social media.
False claims claimed the Houston SPCA took control of Ford Park Arena in Beaumont and began "euthanizing all pit bulls." That was blatant lie, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department.
"There have been multiple false accusations about the condition of the Animal Rescue Shelter at Ford Park," the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department wrote on Facebook. "The accusation about 30 pit bulls being shot and killed is a lie. The accusation that 7 dead horses are stacked up behind the bathroom are a lie. The accusation about ASPCA taking over the shelter and locking out the volunteers are a lie."
Deputies urged social media users to stop spreading false information -- adding more than 200 volunteers were working to care for the animals. Shelters across Texas have responded to calls for help, sending volunteers to care for animals or even taking in lost animals north of the flooding.
All the domestic animals are being kept in metal crates with fans on them and are being taken for walks, fed and watered on a regular schedule, deputies said.
"Some of the animals that are in medical distress are expedited and transferred by the ASPCA to Houston where seven Veterinarians are giving medical care as soon as they come in," the sheriff's department wrote on Facebook.
Some horses that had stood in chest deep water for days and were in severe pain due to rotting flesh were determined to be too far gone to save and were euthanized so they did not suffer further, Captain Crystal Holmes said. Other animals that were suffering but could be helped were given IVs for hydration.
"There was a group of five people, men and women, that were going around trying to take pictures and video so that they could distort them and post these lies. To what end, we don’t know," Holmes wrote on Facebook. "Three of them were identified around noon today and left the arena prior to an encounter. They chose to cause chaos instead of offer to assist these selfless volunteers as they worked to care for these animals."
Facial recognition is being deployed to reunite Harvey victims with their missing pets. Learn more about the technology here.
SOURCE: Captain Crystal Holmes, Jefferson County Sheriff's Office