Officials: Poisoned meat likely killed dogs

March 1, 2011 8:43:44 PM PST
Joan Jardel says her dog Raymond loved to come to the trails along Dividing Creek.

"He was a great dog, he was great with children, would never hurt anybody," Joan said.

Joan says she and Raymond were walking along the trail on Thursday when the dog spotted a meatball on the ground and ate it.

Within a matter of minutes, Joan says, Raymond grew seriously ill and convulsions quickly followed.

"He was in pain, he was whimpering with fear in his eyes," Joan said.

He died within the hour.

The very next day, two more dogs died the same way in the same area.

The belief is that mystery meat, discovered in another part of the Creek, was laced with poison, then nestled in the grass as some sort of bait.

Officials say so far preliminary testing has come up negative for arsenic , strychnine, and cyanide.

"Which does not mean the dogs were not poisoned, it simply means the correct toxin was not tested for, which is really the challenge, unfortunately, it's not like the TV shows where we immediately have an answer," Beth Greco of the Cumberland County SPCA said.

Now, the question is what could've been so powerful to bring down these dogs so quickly and why.

"Whoever's doing this may be trying to control the coyotes from eating the deer so there is more deer for the hunters," Joan said.

In the meantime, other dog owners, like Rita Richardson who was just about to take her dog on the deadly pathway, quickly changed her mind.

"I am so grateful because if I lost her I don't know what I would have done," Richardson said.

Though the trails are on private property, the SPCA says it does not matter. If the meat turns out to be poison, whoever is to blame faces criminal charges.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the SPCA at 856-691-1500.