Lethbridge Regional Police are investigating a case of animal cruelty after two small dogs died of strychnine poisoning.
On June 2, 2014 police responded to a report from a local vet clinic that two Miniature Schnauzers had died as a result of ingesting strychnine. Investigation has determined that on May 25, 2014 the owner of the dogs took them for a walk at approximately 3:10 p.m. from 13 Avenue to 17 Avenue North, between St. Andrews Road and St. Basil Road. After returning to their home along the 1200 block of 13 Avenue North the dogs became ill and began convulsing. The owner immediately rushed them to the vet, but both were pronounced dead on arrival. Necropsies and toxicology testing were subsequently conducted and confirmed both dogs died of strychnine poisoning.
Police previously received a report on May 30 that two large dogs living along the 700 block of 12 Street North had become ill in a suspected case of poisoning. In that case an investigation was conducted but there was no definitive evidence to conclude the animals had been poisoned. Police have since followed up with the owner and both dogs are getting better.
Investigation is ongoing.
Police are advising all members of the public, particularly those who live in the above northside neighbourhoods and surrounding area, to be extra vigilant if they have small children or pets.
“This is extremely concerning to us,” said Kristen Harding, Executive Officer, LRPS. “Notwithstanding the devastating loss for the owner of these two beloved dogs, if someone is deliberately putting out poisoned food there is the potential that a child could come into contact with it and be harmed.”
Parents are urged to watch their small children to make sure they don’t pick up any strange items or place them in their mouth. Similarly when walking dogs, keep them on a leash at all times and monitor their activities. In the backyard, watch out for any strange items that dogs or cats could ingest.
If anyone has any information on these incidents, or have experienced a similar incident of a pet becoming ill and poison is suspected, please contact police at 403-328-4444.