In September 2020, I reported on a plethora of fake kitten rescue videos on YouTube (link to that article). It was clear that in countries in Asia and perhaps Eastern Europe, some unscrupulous people were making fake cat rescue videos. It was almost as if they had given a lot of thought to how they were going to stage the event and then carried out the process a bit like making a mini-movie. It was plain to see.
On this page is another embedded video from YouTube which in my honest opinion is another fake rescue. It has garnered over 25 million views in 2 years and therefore it has made the maker quite a lot of money. And if I’m correct, they’ve allegedly made that money on the back of animal cruelty. Yes, the cat is rescued at the end of the day because that’s the purpose of the video but they been put through hell in the process.
When you look at the video it starts off immediately with the cat up to her neck in thick mud. That’s enough to tell me it is very probably a fake. I would allege that it is impossible for a cat to end up in that situation accidentally. Why would a cat wander into mud like that? Cats are smarter than that. They do not do this sort of thing. It is totally abnormal feline behaviour.
The only realistic way a cat got into mud up to their neck is because the man making the video put her there. And therefore, this is allegedly an act of cruelty for the purpose of monetary gain. No doubt this cat is a community cat. They are everywhere in Asia.
YouTube won’t remove it because they’ll say it is possible that the cat ended up in mud accidentally. And they can’t prove fraud. But please apply some common sense.
Here is the video:
I’ve reported the video to YouTube. This leads me conveniently to a story today in the news media which states that YouTube denies enabling cruel fake animal rescues. And I wonder whether animal advocates had picked up on my September 2020 article and searched YouTube as a consequence and quickly found a large number of fake rescues.
These objectionable videos have been reported to YouTube but they’ve been accused of ignoring the warnings. And animal welfare charities say that YouTube is ignoring the reports and warnings because they profit through advertising as, of course, do the video makers. Each party takes a percentage of the takings.
Ricky Gervais who, incidentally, as an animal and cat lover who hates declawing as I do, accused YouTube of “enabling” the abuse. He said: “Social media giants like YouTube should be on the front foot when it comes to banning this disgusting content from their platforms.”
I have focused on cat and kitten rescues but these fake rescues extend to many other animals such as monkeys, puppies and rabbits. Rabbits are crushed by snakes or are attacked by crocodiles. A video also showed a puppy stuck in the spokes of a bike wheel. And a cat was videoed buried alive *(yes, buried by the bloody film maker). The video on this page has a similar story line. These fakers have latched onto a very big money earner at the expense of animal welfare.
In each video, the animal suffers and is in peril of being killed until the ‘rescuer’ (the preparator of a crime, more like) steps in. In March 2021, YouTube told The Times that it would ban fake animal rescue clips within weeks, so reports the newspaper. They report that on May 11, an animal welfare group in California called Lady Freethinker alerted YouTube to 10 fake animal rescue videos, each one on a different channel i.e. a different person uploaded each one of these videos.
The videos were finally removed last month. Another animal welfare organisation, World Animal Protection, said that they had found 47 new fake animal rescue videos since the end of March this year. Although I believe that you will notice far fewer fake animal rescues on YouTube. I hope so and I believe that they are taking notice gradually.
YouTube, in response, said that they never allow content that is violent or abusive towards animals and that their teams review and update their policies to keep them current. They are reliant, however, on being told by YouTube users when there is a violation of their policies but when they are they say that they remove the content quickly.