A North Phoenix woman was shocked when her neighbor’s dog appeared at her home with a swastika symbol on his head. At first the homeowner didn’t know what to make of it, but it disturbed the woman, who is half Hispanic and mother to three adopted children of mixed race.
The homeowner’s cousin, Sally Andrade, spoke with ABC 12 News about the troubling incident. “She’s thinking, ‘What is this?’” Andrade said. “’Is this a message towards me? I have to protect my family.’”
The timing, being that it is so close to the recent Charlottesville protests and racial tensions involving white supremacists in other U.S. cities, made the mother more on edge.
The symbol was painted on the dog’s forehead and the police were notified. A Glendale police officer went to check on the dog because of concerns the dog may be neglected, and he was told by the dog’s owners that they drew the symbol on the dog as a joke.
But Andrade isn’t so sure. “It could’ve been a joke to the kids. If it is, where is it going to lead next?” asked Andrade.
The officer also reported that the dog’s owners were young and that he did not find any obvious signs of neglect. They also told police that they will remove the symbol.
Carlos Galindo-Elvira is the regional director for the Anti-Defamation League in Arizona said seeing the Nazi symbol on a dog could be scary and that it’s not something to joke about. “It’s hurtful, and it can become harmful.”
Watch more in the newscast video below.