Oskar the Dachshund is gone. Because of a deranged individual who left poisoned meatballs on city streets, Oskar — who helped a San Francisco woman deal with the loss of a child — is gone.
“We are very sorry to announce that Oskar lost his battle last night,” a representative of Animal Internal Medicine and Specialty Services wrote on that facility’s Facebook page. “It was a very difficult fight, and true to his stubborn Dachshund self, Oskar gave it his all.”
Yesterday we spoke to Oskar’s owner, Dorothy Schechter, who had helped other dog owners collect the strychnine-laced meatballs — scores of which were found around the city — to help investigators. The person or people responsible are still at large.
“Our deepest condolences go to Oskar’s mother Dorothy and the rest of his family,” the Facebook post continues. “We know how much he was loved, and that he will be missed terribly.”
We at Dogster never met him, but we’ll miss him terribly as well.
Oskar was the first dog affected by poisoned meatballs that have plagued San Francisco and have terrorized pet owners. A news story this week from KGO-TV Channel 7 says that meatballs “are being lined along buildings and places where dogs relieve themselves,” although it does not say where or when any have been found since the initial incidents over the July 4 holiday weekend.
Reports indicate that the meatballs have taken the lives of two feral cats, a skunk, a couple of raccoons, and a rabbit.
“The AIMSS family has also been deeply affected by his loss, and on behalf of his family and our hospital we would like to thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts for rooting for him,” the post continues. “The outpouring of support and love from every corner of the globe for this baby has been truly breathtaking.”
The vet hospital has confirmed that the meatballs were laced with strychnine — commonly used as rat poison — after conducting toxicology tests.
“We understand that the combined police and Animal Care and Control investigation continues to try and identify the person or persons responsible for this,” the hospital writes, “and we urge anyone that has ANY information about this matter to please call the police department’s anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or text a tip to TIP411 with “SFPD” in the beginning of the message.”
We reiterate that. We want to see whoever is responsible brought to justice as bad as anyone on this planet.
Oskar’s vet bills yesterday stood at $24,000. Police, neighbors, friends, family, and strangers have donated money toward paying off that amount. If you want to contribute, you can find a PayPal account here for donations.
Editor’s Note: For our fellow San Francisco residents, please keep an eye out for these nasty meatballs this weekend. We are keeping our own dogs home for their safety.