Two families are mourning the loss of their beloved pet dogs after suspected rat poisonings on the outskirts of Trail, according to police.
Police responded to reports of the suspicious deaths on Tuesday morning (March 21) in the 4000 block of Casino Road.
The owners lived within close proximity to each other and the pair of four-legged friends were occasional playmates.
Both dogs were reported to have roamed the rural neighbourhood, as well as their own large properties.
The first pet death happened on Sunday after the owner, a 42-year-old woman, found her dog dead in her yard.
On Monday, the woman told police she saw her neighbour’s dog eating a piece of meat in her yard, but before she could intervene the dog ran off.
A short time later, the dog was tragically discovered by its owner convulsing on his property. The dog was rushed to a local vet but died on the way – despite quick action and valiant efforts by its owner to save its life.
While the first dog’s death has yet to be confirmed, the second dog underwent post-mortem laboratory testing, which has since come back to confirm the presence of strychnine, a powerful rat poison.
The investigating officer believes that the first dog had likely been poisoned with strychnine, as well, and suspects someone may have been illegally baiting coyotes with poisoned meat in an effort to kill the wild animals.
Police say this practice is common despite being illegal and dangerous to other animals.
The BC Conversation Officer Service has been contacted. Mounties are looking for any information on potential suspects.
Trail RCMP Sgt. Mike Wicentowich advises dog owners to discourage roaming by keeping their pets inside, leashed, or fenced.
Strychnine is a highly toxic, colourless, bitter, crystalline alkaloid used as a pesticide, particularly for killing small vertebrates such as birds and rodents. Strychnine, when inhaled, swallowed, or absorbed through the eyes or mouth, causes poisoning which results in muscular convulsions and eventually death through asphyxia.
Anyone with information about these deaths is encouraged to call the Trail detachment at 250-364-2566.