One of the darker stories out of St. Louis this week is about a pit bull puppy named Honor who has faced abuse both from her unscrupulous previous owners and now by scammers looking to make a buck off her tragic tale.
Honor was abused by a St. Louis area boy in a video that went viral on the Internet. Luckily for Honor, the viral video led to her abusive owners being taken into police custody, while Honor was taken in by the St. Louis County Animal Care and Control shelter and then transferred to the pit bull rescue operation, Even Chance.
Though Honor is safe and on the mend, scammers have found a way to continue to exploit her. There have been several fake donation pages set up through Facebook that claim to solicit donations on Honor’s behalf, but are, in fact, not affiliated with Honor or her caretakers.
St. Louis County Animal Care and Control posted to Facebook,
It has been brought to our attention by concerned citizens that “Honor” Facebook fan pages are popping up requesting donations claiming to be for Honor. These pages are not in anyway directly related to our Saint Louis County Animal Care and Control shelter or Even Chance. Honor’s biggest wish is her shelter friends find homes. If you are not ready to adopt a new pet you can also make a donation to Even Chance directly to assist in her care and other shelter pups like her that Even Chance is currently assisting in their program. Please be advised there are no “Official” Honor pages. (source)
Researching charities can be a difficult task. One tip to consider is that charities that spring up in response to events in the news might not always be the best way to go. Established charities are generally on the lookout to help with any crises that pop up within their area of expertise – and, if they meet BBB standards, you have a better idea of how they’ll spend your money. BBB Accredited Charities meet all 20 of our accountability standards and are committed to transparency and financial responsibility– which can in turn provide donors with some peace of mind.
Also remember that just because something is popular on Facebook, that doesn’t mean that it’s true. This may seem obvious, but we often feel safe relying on the wisdom of crowds. It’s important to note that Facebook isn’t always great at showing where information came from, so it isn’t always easy to trace the origin of a post or idea.
So how can you know what you’re getting before donating to a charity? Always look up charities in the BBB Directory before donating, and call us if you have any questions. We can provide the information to back up our data where a Facebook post can’t.
There are also many other great St. Louis charities that help take care of our furry friends– you can find them in our Charity Directory under Charity – Animal Protection, and many of these are BBB Accredited.