A Facebook message and photo show the picture of a hand holding cheese with nails in it, with claims that this is a new trend at dog parks. Specifically, we read: New trend at dog parks, nails in pieces of cheese, if you take your dogs to dog parks, please be careful!! The picture with the cheese and nails was emailed to me by someone saying they found cheese like this in parks in Chicago and Ma. But is it true?
The original 2011 image and account were mainly just an exaggerated story with only a morsel of truth behind it.
There was a story in Buenos Aires in July that did include the ubiquitous photo of the hand holding nail-ridden cheese, which stated that cheese contains nails was found. The story, however, took root and grew to epic proportions when the photo was re-posted on Facebook. A the more generic description (above) was used, implying that this was a new trend occurring in the United States. Recall that the story was a one-time, localized event in South America. There was no evidence in Chicago or Massachusetts of any recent incidents like this in 2011.
After the original story above, however a few new incidents did occur. Most recently were two separate events in January 2013.
The Daily Mail reported an incident in South Wales in which someone had spiked cooked sausages with 9 metal nails in each one, and scattered them on playing fields for dogs to find. One dog owner collected 40 of these sausages alone.
In Canton, Ohio, dogs were harmed by a similar incident. In this case, someone left pins and needles in pieces of meat and fish and scattered them around a park. It was reported by Hometownlife.com (link is no longer available) that one dog owner spent about $2000 in surgery having these objects removed from her dog after it ate the tainted meat.
While nails in cheese or meat at dog parks is not a “growing trend,” there have been a few isolated incidents around the world over the past few years. Dog owners should always be vigilant in keeping an eye on what their dogs eat, especially in public places.