Residents express suspicions over pet poisonings

Residents express suspicions over pet poisonings
PVC tube with rat poison warning. Photo by Vlieg courtesy of Wikimedia

CARLSBAD — Dallas Smith came home to his house in Avenida Diestro from a Father’s Day vacation to find his dog Simon sick.

He thought Simon had maybe gotten into his daughter’s crayons but quickly realized it was more serious.

After taking Simon to the vet, Smith was told his dog had gotten hold of rat poison.

The veterinarians tried to revive the dog, but unfortunately, they had to put him down.

Smith hadn’t put any rattraps out in the house and said he is suspicious of foul play.

“It’s hard for me to believe it was totally random,” said Smith.

While he and his family were away, a neighbor had complained to his dad about the barking and Smith noticed a block that lies between a gap in the fence had been moved.

Since there was no evidence, however, there can’t be a criminal investigation.

A La Costa resident who lives 1.3 miles away on La Costa Avenue had a similar problem with her pet coming into contact with rat poison.

Roberta Murphy has three dogs and within the past three weeks, she’s caught her Chihuahua with rat poison twice.

The first time it happened, she recognized what happened and immediately gave the dog hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting. Her dog was not negatively affected.

The second time, on July 1, her husband took it out of the dog’s mouth before it had a chance to ingest it.

Since it’s happened twice, she said it seems deliberate.

Murphy said the incidents have affected her sense of security.

“This freaked me out a little bit,” Murphy said. “This was the second time.”

Carlsbad Police Public Information Officer Jodee Sasway said these two incidents don’t necessarily show a trend.

“We have had a couple of reported incidents lately but not a trend,” Sasway said.

She said it’s possible a rodent dropped the poison in the yard.

“It is important to also note that during months of higher heat, vermin in general are more active and people put out poisoning to deal with the vermin.  House pets can get the poison or even get vermin that have been poisoned,” Sasway said.

Smith acknowledged it is possible, although he’s skeptical.

“It’s possible but I find it really, really hard to believe,” he said.

Murphy said she’s considering installing cameras and plans to keep a closer eye on her pooches.

Manager of VCA North Coast Animal Hospital Skye Engels said if you suspect your dog has been poisoned don’t induce vomiting and don’t wait to take the pet to the veterinarian.

She said inducing vomiting with salt can create toxicity which could hurt the animal.

“It’s not something you want to see play out,” Engels said.

If the bait poison is handy, grab the packaging and take the pet to the nearest veterinarian clinic for treatment.

Every year, Engels estimates between 30 and 40 pets are brought in to VCA for treatment of bait poisoning.

Both Smith and Murphy said they plan to make fliers and post them around the neighborhood to warn neighbors of the threat of rat poison and dogs.

Smith said while he can’t go back now, he wishes he had taken his dogs to a pet hotel while he and his family were away on vacation.

“Two little girls don’t have their dog anymore,” Smith said, referring to his young daughters.

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