Humane Animal Rescue of Pittsburgh warns of ‘entirely fabricated’ event

PITTSBURGH — The Humane Hearts Gala was advertised on the website of ticket seller, Eventbrite, as a “heartwarming evening filled with love and generosity” to benefit the Humane Animal Rescue of Pittsburgh.

It was to include a three-course meal and live music.

The only problem? It’s not a real event.

According to Humane Animal Rescue of Pittsburgh Marketing Director Michele Frennier, the advertisement was a scam.

“They are, I guess, trying to attach themselves to a well-known, well-respected local charity and that’s why we thought it was important to get the news out that this is not something affiliated with us,” Frennier said.

One of Humane Animal Rescue’s supporters spotted the false posting Wednesday and alerted the shelter.

It’s unclear when the post was made, but it remained up until early Wednesday evening.

It has since been removed.

Although the advertisement looked legitimate at first, Frennier said a closer look revealed several red flags.

“It’s very odd, when you look at the description, the times that they are saying are 10 am to noon, but then if you read the description it talks about a chef-prepared three-course meal,” Frennier said.

Tickets being offered for the fictitious event, which was supposedly scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 11, at the shelter’s East Side location on Hamilton Avenue, ranged from free to $3,500 to include silver, gold, platinum, and diamond tiers of donations.

Frennier told Channel 11 that the shelter immediately contacted Eventbrite asking the site to remove the post.

“We have wonderful supporters and Pittsburgh really does embrace Humane Animal Rescue of Pittsburgh and the work that we do and we want to make sure that when people think they’re supporting our shelter that they really are,” Frennier said.

Channel 11 reached out to Eventbrite and they provided us with the following statement:

“We take inauthentic content on our platform very seriously. Our Trust and Safety team helps ensure event listings comply with our Terms of Service. The team has reviewed the event in question and removed it from our platform.”

If you would like to make a legitimate donation to the Humane Animal Rescue of Pittsburgh, click here.

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