A community forum went wild when the set-up for a joke was taken seriously.

People were concerned by prankster Victoria Kaye’s shared a photo of a badger in a home captioned with a request for help with this stray dog.

The post read: “**PLEASE HELP** this small dog was in my garden – he has no collar but I’ve managed to get him into the hallway so he’s safe.

“He's got stripy fur and is obviously homesick as he's very cross. Found in the Borehamwood area.

“Please message me if you know his owners as I was to avoid him going to the dog’s home. Thanks.”

The post was shared in the What’s Coming to the Wood? Facebook group, and while some people were wise to the joke, other people seemed very concerned for the badger’s welfare.

Victoria did not realise how many people would take it seriously but has enjoyed the range of reactions.

Some of the 96 people who commented on the thread were wise to the joke, stating that it was clearly a fox, or advising Victoria to offer the animal some mash potato to calm it down.

However other Facebook users posted sincerely identifying the dog as a badger and stating that the RSCPA needed to be called.

She said: “Someone sent it to me from another community group, as a joke, and I thought it was funny.

“I changed the details for the area and posted it, but I did not think it would be taken seriously.

“It made my day. I thought people would just say that I was an idiot, but there are people commenting a week after who have not read any of the other comments.”

Victoria kept the joke going, insisting that it was not a badger and thanking people who contacted her to reclaim their stray pet.

The post has been doing the rounds in community groups and many people have fallen for the prank.