Doubt cast on claim that KFC employee ejected girl with facial injuries from pitbull attack

KFC franchise claims girl never came in restaurant

TAMPA, Fla. - When the post first went up on Facebook, the reaction was immediate: "Victoria is a beautiful and brave young lady" and "Colonel Sanders would roll over in his grave."

The posting claimed the 3-year-old girl who was scarred and lost an eye in a pit bull attack was ejected from a KFC restaurant in Jackson, Miss., because her appearance was disturbing customers.

There's no doubt the dog attack took place and the injuries are real, but when an initial investigation in Jackson couldn't verify that Victoria and her grandmother ever went into the KFC in question, the tone online shifted fast.

"Stone the grand mom and whoever else was in on it," said one angry poster who was convinced the incident was made up.

"People want to know the truth. They want to understand, is this real?" said marketing director and social media expert Ashley Hoff.

Hoff  thinks KFC has been smart  to stay out of the conversation until the anger cools down and a more complete investigation is complete. Whether it turns out to be a hoax or not, Hoff would advise KFC to focus on the child, maybe even take up the cause of facial reconstruction for children.

"We could look at creating a new story that would shine bright on the need and the care and feeling that KFC wants to represent," Hoff said.

Victoria's family, which has collected more than $130,000 in donations, denies there is a hoax. And regardless of the results of its investigation, KFC has pledged they will still contribute $30,000 dollars toward Victoria's care.

But however it plays out, Hoff said a new social media story will soon take its place.

"That's the good and bad thing about social media," she said. "It happens quickly, but it can also leave pretty quickly, too."

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