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Police find poison bread, dead raccoons in Toronto park where dogs poisoned

sheryl6411
June 25th, 2008, 09:36 AM
TORONTO - The unsolved case of dog poisonings in a landmark Toronto park took a decidedly bizarre and sinister twist Tuesday after police detailed eyewitness reports of dead raccoons in the area posed in disturbing ways, including one with a bouquet of flowers placed in its outstretched paws.


With two dogs dead and at least six others sickened, likely from poison-laced bread and contaminated drinking bowls, a usually bustling off-leash section of High Park was deserted, save for one woman who made sure to hang onto her dog Fargo's collar once she learned of Tuesday's developments.


"I live around here and I guess I'm not going to be coming back," said Suzanne Cote, her voice cracking with emotion.


"This is very distressing."


Police tape cordoned off an area known as Dog Hill and notices warning dog owners about the recent spate of poisonings were taped onto signs designating the off-leash area. On Monday, police issued a public safety alert, warning pet owners and parents about potential poisoning dangers in the massive west-end park.


Toronto police Det. Suzanne Pinto said a mushed-up pile of bread soaked in some sort of poisonous substance was found in the park Tuesday. Police were also treating a hydrant used to provide pets with drinking water as another source of the poison, which Pinto said is likely antifreeze.


But at least two of the sick dogs have no trace of antifreeze in their systems, leading police to believe there may be two sources of poison, as well as two culprits.


The off-leash area of the park has long been a source of contention between pet owners and park users who believe dogs spoil the park when they're allowed to run free.


The poisoned bread was found on the edge of the off-leash area, meaning the poisonings may be connected to the dispute, said Pinto.


She added that the poison used was so strong that it killed all the plants around the bread, yet it was clearly very enticing to animals, including Hannah, one of the dogs that died.


"Hannah ingested it and she's a good dog, she listens to her owner, but she was drawn away from her owner, she smelled this, she specifically went for it and ingested it quickly," said Pinto.


"Other than that she's a great dog, so it really was a powerful draw to the animal."


Pinto said that pet owners should take this as a lesson to keep a close eye on their pets.


"I'm not trying to scare anybody and say that our society has taken a dark turn, but you have to be vigilant with your children and your dogs and what they're sticking their noses into," she said.


"If you're going to take them off-leash and let them romp around, it's your responsibility as a good owner to know what they're going to stick their faces into."


Dozens of dead raccoons and squirrels have also been found in the area, leading police to believe that someone was testing the poison before they used it on dogs, said Pinto.


The ways in which at least two of the raccoons were posed - one with a bouquet of flowers, another with a dead squirrel - indicates the work of a "sick, twisted" individual, she added.

"You're just going after a defenceless animal, in my book. If you have a beef with the owner, you should go after the owner," said Pinto.

"This vigilantism is misplaced, it's distorted and disturbed, and it's going to lead to further trouble down the road for this individual. We're going to run into them sooner or later."

Pinto warned the park should not be considered clear of poison and said people with dogs or children must be careful.

Cote said she'll be holding onto Fargo "very closely" in the future, and hopes the culprit will find the help he or she needs.

"This person is probably not really stable and probably needs a big hug," she said. :wall:

kiara
June 25th, 2008, 11:12 AM
A big hug? I don't think so. This person is evil or mentally ill. If this was my dog that was poisoned and died I would be organizing a vigilante group to catch this individual. Taking turns watching the park at night, of course several people at a time. The animals are helpless victims of this evil. At least you have laws in Ontario that will put this person, or persons behind bars. Here in Quebec there are no laws to protect animals.

Frenchy
June 25th, 2008, 11:40 AM
Pinto said that pet owners should take this as a lesson to keep a close eye on their pets.



Should take this as a lesson ? :frustrated:

NoahGrey
June 25th, 2008, 12:21 PM
Should take this as a lesson ? :frustrated:

I agree.

ACO22

Chris21711
June 25th, 2008, 12:32 PM
According to the paper this morning people still continue to walk their dogs in High Park and let them off leash :wall::wall:

SolaMio
June 25th, 2008, 05:10 PM
"If you're going to take them off-leash and let them romp around, it's your responsibility as a good owner to know what they're going to stick their faces into."

So, one should not assume that ANY public parks are "safe", if this is the logic implied here... Is there no responsibility from the city whatsoever??? This is a *public* park after all!! The drinking water from the "hydrant" -- who pays for these services- are they not publicly funded??

:wall:

Stacer
June 25th, 2008, 07:07 PM
"If you're going to take them off-leash and let them romp around, it's your responsibility as a good owner to know what they're going to stick their faces into."

So, one should not assume that ANY public parks are "safe", if this is the logic implied here... Is there no responsibility from the city whatsoever??? This is a *public* park after all!! The drinking water from the "hydrant" -- who pays for these services- are they not publicly funded??

:wall:

High Park has a committee called K9 that is in charge of taking care of the off leash areas and policing itself. The city is not responsible for making sure that there is no poison in the dogs' drinking water. There is a hydrant there that is used to fill water dishes, I believe it's the water in the dishes that was poisoned, not the hydrant itself (I'm not sure how the culprit would go about doing that anyway).

SolaMio
June 25th, 2008, 07:13 PM
Toronto police Det. Suzanne Pinto said a mushed-up pile of bread soaked in some sort of poisonous substance was found in the park Tuesday. Police were also treating a hydrant used to provide pets with drinking water as another source of the poison, which Pinto said is likely antifreeze.

Seems that someone was able to do this, sadly. I would have assumed that a hydrant was public property. Different where I live, I guess.

Stacer
June 25th, 2008, 08:02 PM
Although that's what the detective said, it's highly unlikely that a person could get into a hydrant as special tools are needed to open it.

That detective is being criticized for making speculative comments, unprofessional to say things that are unprven at this point.

The hydrant is city property, but has been modified to allow the off leash users to use it like a regular tap.

Not sure how you think that the City should be responsible, there are thousands of hydrants in the city, they don't check on them unless there's some sort of problem reported. Which is exactly how this process has gone.

NoahGrey
June 26th, 2008, 12:50 PM
I actually emailed Breakfast televison this morning to rant about Dina's (co-host) comments regarding the High Park Situation.

Kenvin (co-host) says that it states that now it seems to be that the dogs were not intentionally harmed, but for the raccoons that were eating and making a mess of the gardens in the area.

Dina pipes up and say well it is a relief to know that they were not out to intentionally harm the dogs. How could she forget about the raccoons? Or maybe her thinking is it is "just" a raccoon?

I almost feel off my seat when I heard this. Ok, yes the poisonings were not intentionally for the dogs, but it was there for intentionally poisoning the raccoons.

What these poor raccoons went though, what a agonizing way to die and also for the dogs that were effected.

An an Animal Protection Officer...her comment really burns me.

I am in work tomorrow, so I will not be able to see the BT show. If it is mentioned...can someone let me know *L*

ACO22

aslan
June 26th, 2008, 12:57 PM
i personally think this new theory is bull too. Everyone seems to forget that these racoon's were posed in different positions ie: holding flowers. That's not done by someone who's just trying to stop them from digging.