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Insecticide in Dog Park

sk8

TRIBE Member
Toronto police have launched a "full-blown" criminal investigation into the poisoning of 15 dogs after tests revealed the animals ingested a highly toxic insecticide at Withrow Park.

Detective Sydney Thomas said an autopsy on T-Bone, a 12-pound Cavalier King Charles spaniel that died Monday after eating something off the ground at the Riverdale park, and toxicology tests on food and vomit samples taken from some of the ill dogs all point to the same kind of substance — organocarbamate, a group of pesticides widely used against insects, fungi and weeds.

"This has definitely left the realm of being an environmental and health issue. ... We are now right in the middle of a complete, full-blown criminal investigation," Thomas said at a news conference yesterday.

He refused to identify the type of carbamate the dogs ingested, saying only that it was a "rarely used" agricultural insecticide. The unnamed insecticide is banned in the United Sates and isn't readily available in Canada, he said, noting police are already looking into where the product is sold.

Last weekend, several dogs become violently ill after visiting the park's off-leash area. Dog owners immediately suspected the animals had been poisoned when a small piece of hot dog laced with dark blue granules was found in one dog's vomit. The specimen is a key part of the investigation, Thomas said.

Two children also became ill after tobogganing in the park, but Thomas said his "gut feeling" is that the cases aren't related. Police are still looking into the human cases, however, and have sent clothing from one of the children for chemical testing.

Last night, a Riverdale real estate company added $2,000 to a reward fund that has been established to help find the person responsible for poisoning the dogs, bringing the total reward to $4,000.

"That's a big community centre right now that people are afraid to go into," said Ken McLachlan, owner of ReMax Hallmark Reality Inc. "Somebody said to me it's like getting a spike in the heart of the community."

McLachlan said about 100 real estate agents at the Pape Ave. branch contributed to the reward fund "because we live there, we work there and that park is a major part of the community."

Withrow remained cordoned off yesterday as a score of officials and police again searched for any remaining contamination. The ministries of environment and health will test samples to ensure no toxic substances are left, Thomas said.

"It's possible that there may be some leaching into soil," he said.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
`This has definitely left the realm of being an environmental and health issue'

Detective Sydney Thomas

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Most carbamate insecticides don't persist long in the environment, according to the Web site of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

Don Boyle, parks and recreation director for the south district of Toronto, said officials don't believe there were high amounts of the insecticide in the park to start with. Testing on Wednesday by a specialized hazardous materials team found no pesticides, he said.

Boyle compares the risk to the warning given after a lawn is sprayed — normally, he said, it's safe within 24 to 48 hours. Still, extra precautions are being taken to ensure the park is toxin-free. Parts of the recreational area that aren't close to the off-leash area, including the ice rink and clubhouse, may open next week if tests continue to show no remaining contamination, he said.

Casey Conklin, co-chair of the Withrow Park Dog Owners association, said she wasn't surprised that the investigation has turned criminal.

"This has been our sense of the situation from early on this week."

She said dog owners in the neighbourhood are relieved police now have enough information to move the investigation forward.

"It's been emotionally draining," she said, noting a community meeting is being held at 1 p.m. tomorrow at East Minster United Church on Danforth Ave., so neighbours can discuss the situation with officials.

Finally knowing what caused the sickness, Conklin added, is helpful to people worried about their dogs' health down the road.

Most carbamate insecticides don't have long-term side effects, said Chris Krepski, spokesperson for the Pest Management Regulatory Agency. The symptoms of ingestion — muscle weakness, dizziness, sweating, nausea, vomiting — are typically acute, but pass.

"They don't last very long in the system," he said, adding he can't be more specific about the exact effects, as police haven't released the insecticide's name.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call police at 416-808-5504 or CrimeStoppers at 416-222-TIPS.
 

LeoGirl

TRIBE Member
I heard on the radio this morning that this "pesticide" can only be sold to people with a particular license to purchase it.

Their closing in on the culprit, grrrr
 

Cheer Bear

TRIBE Member
Arghhhhh!! this makes me so mad.

And the worst thing is, if they find the guy NOTHING will happen to him/her.

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

I feel so bad for the owners of that spaniel. What a heartbreaking thing to have to go through
 

afterglow

TRIBE Member
The whole thing makes me ver angry.

As a friend of mine said, it's takes a big man to anonymously poisen dogs in a park.

*snicker*
 
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LeoGirl

TRIBE Member
^^^current laws....... :rolleyes:

will probably get a small fine or some shit.

........the only positive thing going for us animal lovers is that Children playing in the part are at risk as well. Which will probably mean a more harsh sentence.

.........that said. Someone post that Petition again please. The one to increase penalties for animal abusers.
 

geminigirl

TRIBE Member
Leo Girl, I aggree with you completely. I Love that you are as much an animal lover as myself. The laws on this, totally piss me off.

...and yes, that would be great if someone could post the petition again.
 

tayo

TRIBE Member
Hopefully if they catch him he'll be charged with more than just animal abuse... if you need a license to buy that pesticide, it's probably illegal to go around dumping it in concentrated amounts in public parks. Maybe he can be charged with damage to public property and endangering children. Maybe some of the dog owners can sue him in civil court.
 
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416

TRIBE Member
I think the main upside of catching whoever did it is the publishing of their name in the paper. There was a case a while back of someone dragging a dog behind a car for a couple miles. I heard that dude was basically chased out of town and suffered years of serious harasment.
 

tayo

TRIBE Member
And with all of the tax dollars spent on testing that park, it must be illegal to cause so much disruption and needlessly create weeks of police work. I know there's a term for that but i can't think of it.
 

416

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by tayo
And with all of the tax dollars spent on testing that park, it must be illegal to cause so much disruption and needlessly create weeks of police work. I know there's a term for that but i can't think of it.
It's called "being a huge asshole who's gonna get it".

I know, I'm a lawyer.
 
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pr0nstar

TRIBE Member
I think personally if a person intentionally kills an animal in situations like this, etc... torturing a dog/cat/etc...

That they should be put on trial like it was a human.

It's just as bad as murdering an innocent child.

pr0nstar :mad:
 

geminigirl

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by 416
I think the main upside of catching whoever did it is the publishing of their name in the paper. There was a case a while back of someone dragging a dog behind a car for a couple miles. I heard that dude was basically chased out of town and suffered years of serious harasment.
Good point...I like to hear stuff like this. It gives me some sort of satisfaction. However, there are so so many animal abuse cases each and every day that don't get exposed. These horrible people need to pay a way higher price.



...Kenny I totally agree with you.
 

squirrely

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by pr0nstar
I think personally if a person intentionally kills an animal in situations like this, etc... torturing a dog/cat/etc...

That they should be put on trial like it was a human.

It's just as bad as murdering an innocent child.

pr0nstar :mad:
um, if you're a meat-eater and you don't seek out free-range chicken and shit like that, well......um.........


but yes. this is sickening.
 

geminigirl

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by squirrely
um, if you're a meat-eater and you don't seek out free-range chicken and shit like that, well......um.........


but yes. this is sickening.
Yes, exactly. That's one reason I am a veggie. I can't stand the suffering of any animal. BUt many other reasons go along with it.
 
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squirrely

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by mingster
i think as punishment, they should get a pit bull to tear this guy a new asshole.
yeah, and then the way our legal system works, the pitbull would be put to sleep.
 

squirrely

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by mingster
:(
it's ok! they're not *reeeally* gonna get a pitbull to tear him a new asshole. the pitbull is at home right now, watching talk shows and eating steak. no more dead doggies.
 

416

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by mingster
i think as punishment, they should get a pit bull to tear this guy a new asshole.
I agree. I live in the neighborhood and have a mutt that I'm pretty sure is a pit mix. I volunteer.
 

LeoGirl

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by squirrely
um, if you're a meat-eater and you don't seek out free-range chicken and shit like that, well......um.........


but yes. this is sickening.
I don't really think that's fair....

It's like your saying that meat-eaters can't be animal lovers'

I understand your point. I just don't think it's a fair statement.

:)
 
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