From our local newspaper, The Tioga Freedomist, here is an article from our Senior Correspondent, Lonny Frost, about a viral video that touched off a firestorm in Tioga County, PA, but ended up having International ties. Lonny tracked down the source of the viral video to put to rest the steady stream of rumors coming out of Tioga County PA in response to this video:
Girl Tossing Puppies In River Video Source Exposed
By Lonny Frost
On January 21, 2014, a horribly graphic animal abuse video raced across the social network of Facebook right onto the Facebook pages of Tioga, Bradford, Lycoming and Potter County residents.
The following video link comes with a graphic warning, as video is not suitable for young viewers, as it depicts scenes of extreme animal abuse. See clip here: (warning- graphic images)
The video begins with a young blond long haired female teen wearing a red hooded sweatshirt reaching into a white bucket and picking up 1 of 6 tiny and helpless three day old puppies. Then suddenly the female teen tosses the whimpering puppy into a rapidly flowing stream.
The video was reportedly taken by the girl’s brother and it captures the death of each puppy as they are tossed into the river one by one, as the female teen laughs.
The outrage and hate being openly expressed by thousands of local residents and hundreds of thousands others beyond our borders, has caused serious concern and wonder for the Tioga Freedomist. So we decided to look into the reality of the video, out of concern for those who might be involved in this terrible crime. We also wanted to calm down the out lash and end the death threats seen posted throughout the counties.
While investigating the story, Tioga Freedomist was able to confirm that the video was in fact, real and not a hoax, as once believed.
Local Tioga County residents stated they were furious and upset after seeing this video on Facebook. Others simply cried, as they watched in horror as watched the newborn puppies being thrown in the fast moving river.
Also confirmed was the fact that this event did NOT occur in the United States, nor is it a recent video, but a video that caused worldwide anger in the early months of 2010. It is believed the video was recently recirculated on Facebook again to raise the awareness of animal cruelty in the United States and around the world.
In fact, back in 2010 there was so much outrage and international fury caused by this video that it even caused movie producer and director, Michael Bay, to offer a $50,000 reward for the prosecution of the teen girl seen in the video.
Bay offered the reward for, “information leading to the arrest and successful prosecution of the woman in the red sweatshirt and the person who shot this act of cruelty.”
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) also offered a $2,000 reward to help locate the young female seen in the video.
The animals rights group, ‘Flekice’ (Spots), had filed a complaint with police stating the girl seen on the video, which was originally posted on YouTube, came from the central town of Bugojno in Bosnia. Then the animal rights group called SOS, based in Sarajevo, also claimed that Bugojno was the location of the girl seen in the video. The two groups passed on their information to police, in hopes that police would be able to identify the girl.
At the same time several Facebook pages were created shortly after the video went viral. They were dedicated in exposing the young teenage girl. A Facebook group called “Find the Girl Who Threw Puppies in River,” at one point had over 2,300 followers. The teen girl’s parents reportedly turned in their daughter to local police in Travnik, which is located on the eastern edge of Bosnia near the Croatian border. This was stated according to a news report leaked to local online news outlet Index.hr.
Then, on the afternoon of Sept. 2, 2010, a video surfaced on the well known YouTube site that had a single framed image from the original video with a typed apology placed over it.
The apology read as follows: “My name is Katja Puschnik and I would like to appologize [sic] for my behavior. The puppies belong to my grandma and she told me to get rid off them because they were only 3 days and they were ill. They had parasites from their mother. I didn’t knew [sic] exactly what to do so I thrown [sic] them in the river because it was a short death. I did not want to make them suffer. I am really sorry for this :(“
However, the clip had been quickly been removed from the YouTube site and has sense left people wondering if the confession was real or a hoax. Regretfully following this particular post, dozens of fake apologies claiming to be from the girl started showing up on blogs across the Internet. Leaving many to speculate that the first confession was the actual teen.
Animal abuse laws in Bosnia would allow for the girl’s parents to be fined, if the girl was underage, but no jail time or fines were ever reported by police or by the animal rights groups involved in assisting police.
Bosnian law requires anyone who kills or injures an animal to pay a fine ranging from around $24.00 up to approximately $6,400 for animal cruelty.
Also due to the age of the of the teenage girl, police never officially released her name as she was a juvenile at the time of the crime. Some say this was done to protect the girl.
Sadly this is how the case ends, justice was surely not done in this situation. As for the 44 second video that started it all, it was removed from Youtube back in 2010. However, the video had been embedded on a number of other sites and are now being circulated once again across Facebook. This will continue to circulate if people do not realize it is an old video.
This video has jarred awake local county viewers’ anger and caused thousands to shed tears of despair, as they believed the video was recently taped here in their county. Either way this old video has also brought to light the reality of the injustice around the world, when it comes to punishing those who commit serious animal abuse.
Now when you see this video starting to circulate again, please copy the link to this article and post it right to the comment section of the video, maybe the world can start healing through the social media sites.
These actual events unfolded starting on 4/8/2010, 8/31/2010 and 9/3/2010.