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NOT REAL NEWS: California shelter won't euthanize animals

A San Bernardino animal shelter is not planning to euthanize more than 100 animals if they are not adopted by the end of Tuesday as posts being shared widely on social media suggest. The posts, which were shared by the thousand on Facebook and Twitter, tied the euthanasia plans to the municipal facility's closure. But no official date has been set for the facility to close.

Unadopted animals — about 40 cats, 60 dogs and three pigs as of Tuesday morning — will continue to be housed there, Sadie Albers, a public information office for the San Bernardino Police Department told The Associated Press.

Albers said the shelter continues to take in animals. If a closing date is established, any remaining pets will be transferred to a new shelter. "I'm a crazy animal lady, too, but this misinformation has created fear and mistrust," Albers said.

She said callers from across the U.S. have contacted city staff, upset about the false social media reports claiming that the shelter planned to euthanize all of its animals on May 7. Last year, San Bernardino took in more than 7,600 animals, according to city documents. Animal advocates in the region have been critical of the shelter's management.

Albers said the San Bernardino shelter needs significant upgrades, including air conditioning and electrical updates to install machine washing units, that the city cannot afford to make. The city of San Bernardino west of Los Angeles emerged from bankruptcy in 2017, five years after seeking bankruptcy protection because of massive debt.

The San Bernardino shelter will host a free pet adoption event Thursday.

This is part of The Associated Press' ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

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