Local News

Fake Fliers Mislead Pet Owners In Wilson

Posted June 18, 2004 5:30 a.m. EDT

— The city of Wilson says someone is using the official city seal and county address to mislead pet owners.

Angela Toner was one of two homeowners in the Gold Street area who received the notice. The letter states that the recipient is in violation of animal ordinances. The letter states: "This is a first warning: Second warnings result in fine and possible court transactions."

"It was hanging out of the mailbox and it was before the mailman came here yesterday (Wednesday) morning," she said. "I thought it was real because it said violation of an ordinance."

The document, which also includes the county animal shelter address and copyright information, is not from the city or the county.

The fake letters were placed in mailboxes, which could be a federal offense. The city wants residents to know that is not how it does business.

"If you look at this, it is obviously not from us. It is a very threatening letter. Some of these rules here are just made up," said Brian Bowman, interim public information officer.

Wilson officials learned of the bogus warning Wednesday when Wilson County Animal Control officers received the documents from the two pet owners.

"Our police are aware of this letter. If anyone receives it, we will tell them it's bogus. One look at this document shows that it clearly is not legitimate," Bowman said.

Animal Control Supervisor Carl Utley worries a fake flier could hurt his officers' trust and credibility.

"Make sure that no one is out here pretending to be an animal control officer or impersonating an animal control officer by misleading the citizens of Wilson," he said.

Anyone who receives a letter should contact Wilson police.