PINOLE -- An official with the Contra Costa County Animal Services Department said Thursday that there is no truth to a claim circulated in cyberspace and elsewhere of a pending mass euthanizing of dogs this week at the Pinole Shelter.

"That's just a rumor. That's not true at all," Sgt. Cedric Cain of the Animal Services Department said Thursday.

A reader email to the Times this week claimed that the information that 58 dogs were about to be put to sleep "so they can sterilize (the shelter) against a parvovirus exposure" came from an online posting on Craigslist.

The Animal Services Department has heard from the public about the rumor and wants to dispel public concerns, Cain said.

There is no infection at the shelter nor plans to sterilize the facility, he said, adding that even if there had been an infection, the department would not address it by killing dogs.

He said the rumor seems to have stemmed from an offer on the Animal Services website for half off the cost of adoptions through the end of the year.

The department is having the half-off promotion "because we're inundated with furry, four-legged creatures" needing homes, Cain said.

Anyone with questions or concerns can contact the department at 510-374-3966 or go to the website www.contracosta.ca.gov/index.aspx?nid=59 for more details.

Reach Chris Treadway at 510-262-2784 or follow him at Twitter.com/christreadway. Stay up-to-date on West Contra Costa news at IBABuzz.com/westcounty.