With April Fool's Day on Friday, a fake letter from the city of Auburn is circulating on social media, telling residents a new law will require pets to wear pants so as not to expose their genitals.
City Clerk Chuck Mason confirmed to The Citizen that the letter is fake.
"While we do maintain our sense of humor, the City of Auburn does not condone the creation or circulation of false information. The intentional misrepresentation of the law and the forgery of the signature of an elected official are illegal acts and should be taken seriously," Mason said, referring to the forged signature of Mayor Michael Quill on the letter and its use of the city's official letterhead.
While people have contacted the city about the letter, Mason continued, many of them did so understanding that it was probably fake.
Dated March 28, the letter tells residents that the new law was prompted by complaints from a citizen at Auburn City Council meetings in August and November.
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"Her concern was domestic animals (i.e. canines and felines) with exposed genitals. Her concerned was shared by many. It is an uncomfortable and difficult situation for a parent, grandparent or guardian to have to explain to their ward when they are questioned about canine and feline genitals," the letter says. "The City of Auburn researched this issue and found that many local veterinarians are also concerned about the damage the elements in Upstate NY present to our pets and their sensitive areas. Further researched showed that many cities, towns and villages across New York State and the New England States have made it mandatory that our domestic animals wear pants to cover their genitals, protect them from the elements and to deter unwanted mating."
The letter goes on to say the law, Local Law No. 66K9_2022, will take effect on April 15. The letter also says the city is contracting with Pet Pants, Inc. to provide discounts to pet owners who need to purchase pants. The only Pet Pants, Inc. was incorporated in Maryland in 1997 but dissolved two years later, according to the state's business registry.
The origin of the letter is unclear. Every picture of it shared on social media appears to be the same, as they all share the same blue markup shape over the recipient's address. Despite inquiries on social media, The Citizen has been unable to identify anyone who actually received a physical copy of the letter. If you did, or know someone who did, please contact email@example.com.
Lake Life Editor David Wilcox can be reached at (315) 282-2245 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @drwilcox.