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Cheating means voting change

The FORT’s Cutest Dog contest should have wrapped up this week but evidence of wholesale cheating – to sway the vote towards one dog in particular – means all 1,600 votes have to be set aside.

“We’re extremely saddened this could happen,” said Beth Shaw, FORT executive director.

The voting was done through Facebook and all appeared well until Friday.

Then angry messages began to appear on the FORT Facebook page where voting was taking place. Comments included accusations of cheating when dogs formerly in the lead dropped way back in the votes.

By Monday morning it was clear there was a problem and David Vandersteen, who works at FORT, began to check Facebook profiles to see what the issue was. He discovered dozens of fake accounts. Facebook, he said, does have a way to scan for fake accounts but these were set up with content that wouldn’t be detected unless they were opened and read.

With 1,600 votes cast there is no time to check each account to determine which ones are fake so all votes have to be scrapped.

The contest goes on, however, as will the Dogs 4 Youth Dog Show.

Votes can be cast at FORT between today and Friday, May 22 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. – one vote per person, old and young. On Saturday, May 23, the voting will wrap up at Yogurty’s at 1-3 p.m. at 70 Livingston St. (Grimsby Square Plaza) as part of the shop’s grand opening.

The winner of the contest will receive their gift basket at The Dogs 4 Youth Dog Show Saturday, May 30 at the Peach King Centre, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“This is going to be a massive event with an indoor dog show and more than 50 vendors,” said Beth Shaw, FORT executive director. There will also be live entertainment, food trucks and an agility course.

Your dog can have a ball running a lure course, get the star treatment in the Pamper Zone, have some fun in the Doggie Play Zone, or visit a Holistic Healer at the Health and Wellness Centre. Of course, for the adults, there are numerous vendors – some pet-related, plus a wide variety of others – and lots to see. The proceeds of the event go to supporting the FORT.

Call 905-309-3678 for more information.

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