THOUSANDS of people who shared an image of the unfortunate slogan of a "new" Bury charity shop have found the joke’s on them – the picture was actually taken in August 2005.

The RSPCA shop at The Rock became an internet sensation on Twitter and Facebook for its "Helping Bury Animals" strapline, but the facade was changed just a month after the store opened.

Unwitting star of the eight-year-old photograph Rhiannon Jones, aged 31, said the accidental pun drew attention from customers when it first appeared.

“At the time we did have a lot of people coming in saying ‘do you realise how that sounds?’” she said.

“It was flagged up almost immediately and quickly the slogan was changed to ‘Helping Local Animals’”.

Rhiannon, who is second from left in the photograph, worked at the Bury store when it opened but now staffs the Radcliffe branch.

“It’s so strange – it was eight years ago but the picture was all over Facebook and Twitter last weekend,” she added.

“I had completely forgotten about it – we all had quite a laugh about it at the time and it is funny it has popped up again.”

Policeman John Donoghue may have been the first person to tweet the photo, sharing it with his 14,000+ followers last Saturday.

Mr Donoghue tweets amusing photographs on a regular basis and uses them as inspiration for his books, which describe the funny side of his military and police service.

“If I played a part in the picture going viral with my original tweet, then I’m a happy man,” he said.

“In my books, I try to see the comedy people miss – I think often we just don’t notice the funny side to situations and when it is pointed out it becomes so obvious we wonder how we never saw it ourselves.

“Helping Bury Animals will certainly make it into the next book.”

For more pictures from John: follow him @JohnDonoghue64.