If you’re a dog owner who lives in the area of Arlington, Virginia, please be very careful when walking your pet; someone has been leaving poisoned meat out on the sidewalks, probably just so dogs can come by and scarf it up.
Two dogs ate poisoned meat on Sunday while walking in the area near Lee Highway and Columbus Street. On Sunday morning, Mike Helle was walking his dog, Oxford, along Columbus when the dog ate a piece of meat lying on the ground. When the two got back to Helle’s house, Oxford got very ill, suddenly defecating on the floor and foaming at the mouth. Helle says that he saw a second piece of meat while walking, which he avoided, and found a third near his house. The Animal Welfare League of Arlington is testing the sample Helle found near his house, but so far have come to no conclusions other than to say that the meat contained pills made of dry, white powder.
The second dog was a Chihuahua–Dachshund mix named Bonnie. Like Oxford, Bonnie became very ill after eating what owner Carolyn Kaye said looked like a sausage lying on the sidewalk. Both dogs were taken to the Hope Advanced Veterinary Medical Center and have been released after being held overnight.
So far, police have been very cautious about saying that the dogs were deliberately poisoned, at least until the results come back from the lab. Arlington radio station WTOP reported that a police spokesman said that “At this time, we cannot confirm that they were poisoned,” and also that the dogs were being treated for ingesting toxic materials, which could be anything from chocolate to household cleaners.
Nevertheless, people in the neighborhood have been spreading the word of a threat. According to WJLA TV, The local lampposts are now covered with signs that say “Warning: Someone is poisoning dogs in our area.”
The police may be taking the circumspect route, but anyone who’s been reading Dogster regularly for the last couple of years knows that this certainly wouldn’t be the first time that someone’s tried to poison neighborhood dogs. In San Francisco, we’ve had multiple reports of poison meatballs found around the city, and similar incidents have happened in Los Angeles, Portland and Nevada. No arrests in any of those cases have been announced.
In WJLA’s story on the poisonings, they quote local dog walker Andrew McBride expressing his bewilderment about the poisonings: “You just don’t understand why someone would have that kind of animosity and spend their time doing something like that,” he told the station.
It’s impossible for us to understand, too, but unfortunately, it seems to be far more common than it should be. Wherever you live, be very careful about letting your dog eat things off the ground.
More on poisoned meat incidents: