Thursday, February 25, 2010

Potential Poisonings Rattle Dog Owners

A fresh rash of potential dog poisonings has left one animal dead and shaken pet owners in three different Toronto neighbourhoods.

"The OSPCA is very concerned about recent reports. These issues could have serious consequences,'' said Connie Mallory, acting chief inspector with the OSPCA.

Last week, south Etobicoke residents found crushed-up traces of pills in their backyards. On Sunday, dog owners found pills scattered around a Cabbagetown dog park, while dog-walkers in the Cedarvale Ravine off Bathurst Street came across a beef tongue laced with nails.

"The fact that it was beef tongue, the location [in an off-leash area] and with nails through it, it was an utterly deliberate attack." said Lauro Monteiro, who walks his beagle, Willie, in Cedarvale, one of the city's largest off-leash areas near Bathurst between Eglinton and St. Clair. "There's been lots of friction between dog owners and non-dog owners in this area for many years."

Lola, a lab-shepherd mix, started chewing the spiked cow tongue; her owner wrestled it away before she did any damage to herself.

Also on Sunday, police collected approximately a half-dozen pills for further investigation at Allan Gardens. Constable Tony Vella said no dogs were sickened, but there is concern when suspicious substances are being left out for animals to find. Last week in the Sixth Street and Lakeshore Boulevard area of south Etobicoke, police investigated after residents found crushed white pills in their backyards. A dog belonging to the man who initially found the crushed pills has died, but police are unsure as to whether the pills contributed to the animal's death.

Const. Vella said it is unclear whether the three incidents are related, but such attacks call to mind hot dogs laced with insecticide found in Riverdale's Withrow Park in 2004 and bread soaked with antifreeze in High Park in 2008.

Ms. Mallory of the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals stressed the importance of pet owners keeping their eyes on their animals while out in public. She advises bringing along water while out on a walk, as puddles can contain dangerous substances, and when in an off-leash park, pet owners must do a visual inspection before letting their dogs loose.

**Taken from nationalpost.com

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