Ceres police were inundated with calls Thursday from throughout the nation to check on the welfare of a dog whose life appeared threatened on a Ceres man's Facebook page that went viral.
A disturbing post by Mark Joiner Jr. of Ceres went viral from concerned dog lovers from all over the country as far east as Florida. Joiner uploaded a picture of a dog and vented about it defecating on his bed and chewing up his belongings. The entire post reads: "This stupid little dog s--- on my bed last night. Anybody want her? She's cute but she'll eat your shoes and everything else she can get a hold of. She's FREE. Pick her up today or she's will be shot and stuck in a hole buy (sic) 9pm. Actually I'll give anybody who takes her 20 bucks."
The post was shared by concerned citizens via Facebook, reposted on the Ceres Police Department Facebook page, and approximately 40 to 50 reports about the post came in from at least five different states.
Officers went to Joiner's Ceres home to check out the report and check on the animal's welfare and were assured that he was only venting. The dog appeared to be unharmed.
"He was venting about his dog and he made those comments .... that's all it was -- a vent," said Deputy Chief Mike Borges. "The dog is not in danger."
Angry calls were even being directed to Mark Joiner Sr., the owner of Aristocrat Limousine Service owner.
Borges said his department has always taken reports of animal cruelty seriously. Maliciously torturing or killing animals is a felony and should be reported to Stanislaus County Animal Services at (209) 558-7387 or local police.
Borges said his agency handled two other dog calls on Thursday.
Officer Ross Bays responded to Roeding Heights Park for a 7;56 a.m. report of an abandoned puppy in a box with curdled milk. Bays brought the puppy back to Ceres Police Department, gave it a bath, and took it to City Hall to see if anyone wanted to adopt it. The puppy was named "Parker" and adopted by a city employee, who has taken it to a local veterinarian to be checked out. Parker is being treated for bronchitis and is expected to make a full recovery in his new home.
Later in the morning Ceres officers were called to the Stanislaus County Animal Services facility when a subject took his impounded dogs from the facility without paying the impoundment fees. Officers made contact with the owner, who said he took the dogs because he had to be at work and could not wait. The owner agreed to return to pay the fees and no further action was taken.
Unwanted animals should be surrendered to Stanislaus County Animal Services Agency, located at 3647 Cornucopia Way in Modesto, between the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays or 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.
Rescue resources are also listed on the Animal Services website: www.stancounty.com/AnimalServices.