San Francisco Community Fights Back Against Dog PoisoningPosted by Kelsey Rinehart, ALDF Litigation Clerk on July 17, 2013
While gearing up for the July 4 holiday, San Francisco residents uncovered a massive incident of attempted animal abuse in their city. An unknown individual deliberately left hundreds of strychnine-laced meatballs in areas dogs frequent, in an apparent attempt to poison unsuspecting canines.
The problem was uncovered after a seven-year-old dachshund named Oskar gobbled down a poison meatball on his July 3 morning walk and immediately became very sick. First discovered in the Twin Peaks and Diamond Heights neighborhoods, the majority of the meatballs have been found around Crestline Drive, Parkridge Drive, and Burnett Avenue. Some reports indicate that they have been discovered in neighborhoods as far flung as Cole Valley, Hayes Valley, and Bernal Heights. Sadly, Oskar passed away after a long struggle at the veterinarian.
This incident–which undoubtedly required significant time, effort, and planning by the individual planting the meatballs–is mysterious and unsettling. Who would do such a thing? It is particularly hard to believe in the mutt-loving city of San Francisco, home to the “Dog Day on the Bay” canine-friendly cruise (to benefit the San Francisco SPCA), Muttville senior dog rescue, and even a group of local dog walkers who sued to enable their pups to continue romping on the bluffs of Fort Funston. San Francisco residents enjoy walking with their companion animals up and down the city’s steep streets, relishing the expansive views and rugged beauty of the city’s canyons and parks. In other words, it is the last place on earth you would expect someone to orchestrate a massive dog poisoning.
Thankfully, in the face of this chilling episode, San Francisco animal lovers showed their stripes. They immediately canvassed the neighborhoods, locating dozens of the poison meatballs before any more dogs could be hurt. They turned in the dangerous items to police, who acted swiftly, offering a tip line, warning residents to maintain vigilance, and seeking the public’s help in finding the culprit.
The outcome of the case remains uncertain, and police are warning there may very well be more poison meatballs still undiscovered. However, the community’s quick action likely saved other dogs from suffering as Oskar did. Residents came together to show that animal poisoning will not go unnoticed or unpunished in San Francisco.
If you have information about the case, contact the San Francisco Police Department’s anonymous tip line at 415-575-4444.
ALDF, VegNews Magazine, and SFDOG are offering a $3,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator(s) who placed the poison meatballs for dogs to consume. If you have information relating to the identity of the person or persons involved, please contact the Animal Legal Defense Fund at 707-795-2533, x1010.