Dog owners in the Russian capital are on alert

A call has gone out on internet message boards for a massive cull of stray dogs in Moscow on Friday evening. An announcement posted online vowed to “clean the city of the fanged pests.” Organizers are asking supporters to meet them at a metro station north of Moscow. From there they will fan out to parks and alleys where the dogs are known to sleep, laying out their preferred trap: meat laced with deadly drugs.

Animal rights supporters have taken to social media to organize a counter-protest. According to the Russian news agency RIA Novosti, police have vowed to be on hand to “prevent cases of cruelty to animals.”

The event is organized by a shadowy vigilante group derisively known as dog hunters. One animal rights group estimates they have killed over 1,500 dogs in recent years.

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