Cranbrook vet warns of possible dog poisonings in community forest

Dogs die of poisoning in Cranbrook
Pet owners are on edge in Cranbrook tonight, after four dogs died mysteriously after walking in a local park. Lynn Colliar reports.

Several dogs have fallen ill — and some have died — from suspected poisoning after visiting a popular park in Cranbrook.

Steeples Veterinary Clinic says they have seen dogs that collapsed and suffered seizures about four to six hours after visiting the Cranbrook Community Forest.

Local veterinarian Gerry MacIntyre said he hasn’t seen any dogs suffering from seizures in recent days, but remembers a similar situation occurring in the 1980s. Back then, he saw pets who “lapsed into complete and total seizures” after a walk in the forest.

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MacIntyre said if the dogs were poisoned, it’s unclear whether it was done deliberately.

He said that in the past someone looking to curb the population of wolves and coyotes may have taken it “upon themselves to actively drop poison in areas adjacent to large cattle ranches.”

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Christy King of the East Kootenay SPCA said “it’s hard to tell in these cases whether this is something that’s been done intentionally or if these animals are just ingesting something from nature.”

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MacIntyre is urging pet owners to avoid the forest. If they choose to use the forest, their animal should be kept on a leash.

Steeples says it is working with RCMP and “will be pursuing post-mortem examinations and comprehensive toxicology screens” of the deceased dogs.