In St. Paul, MN, dog owners are getting worried. According to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, two dog owners have reported to the police that mysterious dog biscuits had been found in their yard. And the biscuits had been laced with rat poison.
One of the dog owners who reported the incident is Kelsey Jurek, a veterinary student who lives in the Frogtown neighborhood of St. Paul. She caught her Italian Greyhound named Jet eating something strange in her backyard last Friday afternoon.
“So I grabbed it from him,” Jurek told Kare 11. What she found was a homemade dog biscuit. Tucked inside were little, blue, rat poison pellets. Jurek was lucky to have caught Jet early. Though the little dog had eaten half of one of the biscuits, an immediate trip to the vet saved his life.
Jurek says that even though she found the biscuits in her yard, there would be no easy way for a passerby to simply throw the biscuits onto her property. This leads her to believe that, “Somebody had to intentionally walk into the yard,” she told Kare 11. “It’s a sick human that follows through with something like this.”
After her trip to the vet, Jurek began to warn her neighbors of the potential threat to the dogs in their area. And thank goodness she did. Her neighbor, Dan Piepkorn discovered his dog Lola eating one of the poisoned biscuits only days later. Thanks to Jurek’s warning, he was on high alert. Piepkorn was able to get the biscuit away from Lola immediately.
“It would’ve really hurt if I hadn’t caught her with it,” Piepkorn told Fox 9. “I had a dog poisoned as a child, and I don’t want to go through that again.”
Though Piepkorn and Jurek are the only two dog owners to report formal complaints to the police, many other residents of the Frogtown neighborhood are expressing their concerns via the neighborhood Facebook page. In some cases, the biscuits have actually proved fatal for the dogs.
Nancy Hernandez, a pet owner who lives nearby, is equally concerned. “I got scared so I check the yard every day,” Hernandez told Fox 9. “If [the suspect] is doing it to dogs, [they] might be doing it to kids.”
And she’s not the only one concerned for the safety of children as well as dogs. “All it would take is for them to pick a piece up and in the mouth it goes if it’s a small child,” Piepkorn told Fox 9.
Police are working diligently to find the person (or people) responsible for these poisonous dog biscuits. The law in Minnesota considers the poisoning of animals a gross misdemeanor. Sgt. Mike Ernster of the St. Paul police is aware that other poisoning allegations are being expressed via social media, but only two have officially been reported to the police. Ernster is encouraging anyone with additional information to come forward, according to Twin Cities Pioneer Press.
“Neighbors need to look out for each other,” Ernster told Twin Cities Pioneer Press. “The way this person will be found is by a neighbor seeing something suspicious and getting police out there.”
And the residents of Frogtown are certainly fed up. Jurek told Kare 11 that it’s “likely that someone just has a sick game going in their head.” And Piepkorn, in a message to the suspect via Fox 9, said simply, “Knock it off. Knock it off and get some help.”
If anyone in the Frogtown or St. Paul area has information on an incident or sees any suspicious behavior around neighborhood pets, police are encouraging them to call 911 or call the local animal control office at 651-266-1100.