A photo shows a man tossing his dog into the ocean, with a caption claiming that he killed his dog for attention. Today we’ll take a closer look at this photo and the story behind it.
The photo is real, but the caption is not.
On Facebook the photo was circulated heavily in 2013 by so-called like collectors – page admins who post controversial photos and ask them to be shared or liked. This is done to increase a page’s popularity. A caption we spotted with this photo read:
This man drowned his DOG for attention
How much slaps can he get?
1 like= 10 slaps
1 share = 50 slaps
Aside from the obvious attempt at gaining Facebook likes, we wanted to look into this photo to determine its veracity.
We tracked down the image to a 2009 Sun article in which we read about the incident that occurred in Hove, East Sussex, England. That article is no longer online, and has not been archived.
A series of photos was taken of the man tossing two dogs into the water. He pulled them out and drove off. Police were called, but the man was gone.
The image above is one of a series of photos. This particular shot has gained the most attention.
The man, Scott Meredith, of Manor Close, Southwick, was interviewed a month later and explained that he was merely playing with two dogs, Missy and Cassie. The first dog jumped into the water, but the second was hesitant, so he tossed it in.
“Missy jumped straight in. Cassie was yelling and itching to get in but the waves were up a little which put her off. So I picked her up with one hand under her neck and the other holding her belly and threw her. She loves it and once in the water she was fine. She wasn’t hurt and I only threw her in the once. I’m not worried about the police or RSPCA because I haven’t done anything wrong. The pictures look like I m throwing the dog high but only the angle of the photo makes it look like that. Even when I was pulling the dog out of the water, I wasn’t being cruel. I was just stopping her from crossing on to a beach where dogs are banned.”
Below is the rest of the series of images published in 2009 showing this incident.
The final image shows the man loading his two dogs into his car before driving off.
Below is a photo taken of Meredith a month later, playing with his dog in a dog park.
The photo of a man tossing a dog into the ocean was shared with a false caption, as the dog was certainly not killed. It could be debated whether or not the dog should have been tossed into the water in the manner shown, but it seems as though the intentions of the owner were for the purposes of having fun with the animals.