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Neighborhood Watch group forms to combat pet poisoning
A poisoned AKC Boston Terrier lies near death on a vet’s examining table after ingesting anti freeze in its back yard on Trailwood Avenue. - photo by Photo Contributed

Residents in a two-block section of Trailwood Avenue are forming an emergency “neighborhood watch” following the deaths of at least three of five pets who were believed to have been the victims of anti freeze poisoning.

One woman,  who lives across the street from a family whose young St. Bernard is recovering from what a veterinarian confirmed as the ingestion of anti freeze laced lunch meat, said that her AKC Boston Terrier died a horrible death from the same poison.

She and other neighbors are installing video cameras and taking down “Beware of Dog” signs that indicate there is a canine at the home.  The people in the neighborhood are coming together in an orchestrated event to prevent more of the same from happening to their dogs and cats.

“She’s my puppy and I was the last person to give her CPR.  I did everything to keep her alive for two days,” she said.  “It occurred two weeks ago on Friday and I’m in fear it’s going to happen to somebody else.  We’ve got to stop this – I’ve got two other dogs and I can’t keep them outside. 

I’m keeping them inside now,” she said.

The woman said when she discovered her dog down in the back yard where she discovered a plastic baggie on the ground next to the animal.  

“It really impacted my kids and myself big time,” she said.  The children include two daughters 12 and four and a son who is 10.

She said that she was so depressed over her pet’s death that she couldn’t work and stayed home for the week, not able to eat and remembering the puppy looking so gaunt with a “Please Help Me” look on her face as her eyes rolled back in her head.

The woman and her daughter had driven the nine-month-old brindled terrier to the vets, giving her CPR all the way.

They put IVs into her leg and checked her for Parvo, with the test coming back negative, she added.  The terrier received multiple bags of intervenious fluids and pain killing medicine before it died, she said.

She described her dog “Mia” as being fully AKC papered – a dog that never barked.

“We need to get this stopped and I need to know why someone would do this,” she lamented.

Vet bill in futile try to
save dog cost $2,200

“I told my daughter to keep rubbing her.  The vet’s office was full and as I ran into the office I ran into the doctor yelling, ‘my dog is dying – help me!’” she said.  The vet took the limp animal in his arms and rushed her into a patient room where they attempted to save its life.

The distraught pet owner asked what could be next.  Doing this to defenseless animals, who is the next target going to be she asked.  “How far can a person take this before they realize that it’s wrong?” she questioned.  The vet bill along with its cremation cost $2,200 with the animal clinic allowing her to make payments to pay it off.  She said her two young daughters had asked that the pet be cremated rather than buried.

Three other animals that died in the neighborhood recently were unconfirmed as to the cause, because their owners did not have them tested for a poison.

Pet owners walking their dogs are talking to each other about the situation and comparing notes.  One Trailwood Avenue couple has printed out fliers they will be handing out door-to-door this weekend, they said.  They don’t want anyone else in the Park West neighborhood to experience the trauma they shared with their pet.

One veterinary clinic was reported as saying a dog with anti-freeze poisoning must receive medication within 12 hours of ingesting the poison into its system -  it acts quickly - to prevent death and in best cases,  extended damage to the animal’s kidneys.  Ultimately the kidneys are shut down by the poison and death results.

Known specifically as ethylene glycol poisoning, the only positive confirmation that a pet has actually ingested the anti freeze is by an expensive test that some veterinary hospitals stock in their dispensary.

If the poisoning goes untreated, the kidneys will fail within three to five days.  The symptoms include stumbling, a pet appearing to be drunk, uncoordinated, could actually collapse or go into a seizure.  It becomes an acute medical emergency, one veterinary professional said.

A reader added that he had a similar incident to report where he had found hamburger that was made into a meatball that was centered with rat poison.  

“Had we not spotted it my neighbor’s dog would most surely have gotten to it because it was deliberately put into the path the dog walks down the stairs with its owner several times a day,” he wrote.

“I do not understand why anyone would want to harm an animal.  If you have a problem with someone’s pet then talk to the owner and try to work it out.  Why resort to the lowest form of behavior,” he asked.  “It’s just horrible.  I would like the laws to get as hard on these indivoiduals as possible.  We have come a long way with the laws regarding animal cruelty, but we still have a long way to go.”

The Manteca Crime Stoppers are offering a reward of $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for the poisoning of the dogs and cats in the Park West Neighborhood.  Anyone may call Crime Stoppers and remain anonymous.  The phone number is 823-4636.  Intentionally poisoning an animal that results in death is considered a felony under the California Penal Code.