Hoaxes & Rumors

Nails in Cheese in Dog Parks: Real or Hoax?

Nails in Cheese in Dog Parks: Real or Hoax?

Are nails in cheese at dog parks a new trend, as this photo and warning suggest?  Today we look at this warning more closely.

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 It has happened, but it is not a “growing trend.”

Let’s look at the original 2011 version of the rumor which stated:

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.

The original 2011 rumor was primarily and exaggeration of a real – and isolated – incident.

Original 2011 Story

There was an incident in Buenos Aires in July 2011 that did include the ubiquitous photo of the hand holding nail-ridden cheese. The story, however, began circulating with a warning that this was somehow a new trend happening all over the United States

The true story was a one-time, localized event in South America. There was no evidence that any such incidents occurred in in Chicago or Massachusetts in 2011 as the rumor stated at the time.

2013 Incidents

Two years after the original warning above circulated, a few other incidents occurred around the world which resembled the Buenos Aires incident. Most notable were two separate events in January 2013.

South Wales

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.

This is one of the sausages found in South Wales with 9 nails in it.

Canton, Ohio

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.

Here is a sample of the Canton, Ohio meat with metal insertions.

San Francisco Poisoned Meatballs

In 2013 and 2014, pet owners in San Francisco were warned about “poisoned meatballs” which were discovered in the area. These meatballs had been tainted with various pills, while some contained coins and even a candle. One dog died and another was sickened after eating these tainted meatballs in 2013.

There is currently a $25,000 reward leading to an arrest and conviction in this case.

Resurgence of the Cheese Photo

In 2014, the “nails in cheese” photo at the top of this article was spotted in circulation on social media sites, along with similar warnings about nails in cheese at dog parks. A caption read:

It would appear that “dog haters” have found a new way to hurt their victims. Certain lunatics who just seem to hate dogs are putting NAILS in small bits of meat and cheese, then leaving them scattered at dog walking parks.

Bottom Line

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.

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