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Dogs die from rat poison exposure in Columbus

Published On: Dec 13 2012 02:21:34 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 14 2012 10:54:32 AM CST
COLUMBUS, Wis. -

Columbus Police Department said it's investigating the death of two dogs that are suspected to have died from ingesting rat poison.

Police said it's possible that someone is intentionally poisoning pets.

Both incidents happened a few houses apart on North Lewis Street in the city of Columbus, a few blocks from City Hall.

In these particular incidents, the dogs were seen playing with sticks that turned out to be a form of rat poison, according to Columbus police.

Three dogs ingested the poison. A 5-year-old yellow lab died last weekend. Another dog died Wednesday and the third dog, from the same house, is still being treated by veterinarians.

Police said the incidents are suspicious. Columbus Police Chief Daniel Meister said one of the homes has a fence, so the poison appears to have been thrown over the fence.

"The concerning thing about them is some of them, based upon the greenish color and these shapes, they look like these dog bones, these toys that dogs can chew on to help clean their teeth. So it's kind of hard to differentiate between what's a dog toy and what's something that's dangerous to them," Meister said.

Police said they can't say for sure whether the acts were intentional.

Police said they're worried about young children getting a hold of the poison blocks or sticks. Police said that in one of the cases, a small child found the stick in the yard and handled it.

Police said they are cautioning all residents to check their yards and properties for these poison sticks. If found, people should handle the sticks safely and place them in a paper bag.

In addition to keeping alert, police are also asking residents who have had sick pets or pets that have died suspiciously to come forward.

Poison manufacturers said the product is safe when used properly and directions are strictly followed.

Anyone with information should contact the Columbus Police Department at 920-623-5919.

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