Police in San Francisco reported Sunday that dozens of meatballs which are suspected to be poisoned with rat poison and left where dogs and cats will find them have again been found in the same Twin Peaks neighborhood where it occurred last year.
On Friday, a resident of the neighborhood contacted Animal Care and Control and reported finding pieces of suspicious meatballs. An officer was sent to search the area on Saturday.
Acting Lt. Denise BonDiovanni of the San Francisco police department stated that she discovered 34 chunks of raw meat containing smaller pieces of a solid substance on Saturday. They were hidden behind stairwells, in bushes, along curbs, and in carports – places where a dog or cat would discover them before their owner could see them. She was also handed a chunk of raw meat that a resident had taken from her dog. According to BonDiovanni, the meatballs are very similar to the poisonous ones found last year.
Signs have been posted all around the Twin Peaks neighborhood of San Francisco to warn residents of the risk and to be on the lookout for the poisoned meatballs. The signs advise keeping pets indoors, using a short leash, and avoiding bushes while walking dogs. Should people find anything suspicious, they are directed to take the item to their vet. Residents of the neighborhood are upset and aghast to know that somebody is once again intentionally trying to harm and even kill their pets.
Three dogs have reportedly been sickened recently near the area of Crestline Drive, which is the same location where the poisonings occurred last year.
In July of last year, a dachshund named Oskar, 7, was killed after consuming a cooked strychnine-laced meatball. Several others became ill. Oskar’s owner, Dorothy Schechter, knew immediately what was happening this year when her dog, A.J., found a meatball while they were out walking. The placement of the meatballs was seemingly designed to kill dogs, as they were placed in locations where dogs were defecating. A resident of the area, Mark Cooper, thinks that the person leaving the meatballs may be upset about owners not picking up after their pets or leaving bags containing dog feces around the neighborhood instead of throwing them into a garbage can.
When all was said and done last year, hundreds of the meatballs, which contained enough strychnine to kill humans, had been discovered throughout the neighborhood. The levels of poison were so high that police urged residents to call 911 should they discover a meatball and to handle the meat only while wearing heavy gloves, because the poison can be absorbed through skin. Despite an award of $5000 which was posted last year, police were not able to locate the suspect.
Animal Control officials ask the public to help find whoever is hiding the meatballs where cats and dogs can find them. Meanwhile, San Francisco police will begin to test the meatballs to determine if they are in fact poisonous. So far, there have been no reports of dogs dying from being poisoned by the batch of meatballs again hidden to do utmost damage to pets.
By Jennifer Pfalz