Two dogs in B.C.’s Interior who lived near each other and occasionally played together died this week after being poisoned.
Trail RCMP say the two dogs belonged to separate families along the 4000 block of Casino Road, with police adding both “were reported to have roamed in the area and on their own large properties.”
On Sunday, though, one of the owners, a 42-year-old woman, found her dog dead in their yard. The cause of death was not confirmed.
Then, on Monday, the same woman found the neighbouring dog eating a piece of meat in her yard.
Police say it was commonplace for the dog to visit, noting they were playmates, but it ran off before she could intervene.
“A short time later, the playmate’s owner discovered his dog convulsing on his property before rushing it to the local veterinarian hospital,” said Trail RCMP.
“Unfortunately, his dog died in transport despite his quick action and valiant efforts to save its life.”
RCMP say laboratory testing confirmed the presence of strychnine, which led police to conclude that the first dog had likely been poisoned with strychnine as well.
“The officer believed an unknown person may have likely been illegally baiting coyotes with poisoned meat in an effort to kill the wild animals,” said Trail RCMP.
“This practice is common despite being illegal and dangerous to other animals.”
RCMP say the BC Conservation Office has been contacted, and that anyone with information regarding these incidents can contact the detachment at 250-364-2566.
According to the Centre of Disease Control, strychnine is a white, odourless and bitter crystalline powder, and is mainly used as a pesticide.
“Strychnine is a strong poison; only a small amount is needed to produce severe effects in people,” said the CDC. “Strychnine poisoning can cause extremely serious adverse health effects, including death.”
Trail RCMP Sgt. Mike Wicentowich is recommending that all local dogs be kept inside, leashed or fenced, to discourage roaming in the area while the investigation continues.