KARE 11 screenshot

A Phoenix woman was left shaken after her neighbor’s dog showed up on her doorstep with a swastika painted on its head.

The woman, who declined to be identified, told KPNX that she did not know what to think after seeing the symbol. She is half Hispanic and has three adopted children of mixed race.

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“She’s thinking, ‘What is this?’” Sally Andrade, a cousin of the homeowner in question, explained to the news station. “‘Is this a message towards me? I have to protect my family.’”

The woman said that her eldest child knows exactly what the symbol is, but the younger siblings have been asking questions that she is having a hard time finding the answers to. The woman also said that the timing of the incident, so close to the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., made her even more anxious.

“To find a dog in your neighborhood with that symbol on its head could be scary,” Carlos Galindo-Elvira, the regional director for the Anti-Defamation League in Arizona, said.

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“Certainly, it brings fear, and there is a cause for concern,” he added. “This is a symbol used by neo-Nazis, by skinheads and by white supremacists.”

Glendale, Ariz., police responded to the call, concerned that the dog might be neglected, but they later reported that they did not find any obvious signs of abuse.

According to police, the dog owners said that they painted the symbol as a joke, but that did nothing to soothe anyone’s concerns (because, for the last time, Nazi symbols and racism aren’t jokes).

“We don’t know where this is headed. It could’ve been a joke to the kids. If it is, where is it going to lead next?” Andrade said.

Read more at KARE 11.