Dog believed to be poisoned
Travelers in Sawtooth Valley should be
wary of letting dogs run free
By GREG STAHL
Express Staff Writer
In an event starkly similar to poisonings
in Yellowstone National Park and the Jackson, Wyo., area earlier this year, a
dog was believed to be poisoned in Fisher Creek in the Sawtooth Valley, south of
Obsidian, over the weekend.
The matter is under investigation, and
there is not yet any concrete evidence. The belief, however, is that the dog ate
poison bait that had been intended for gray wolves, said Craig Tabor, U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service law enforcement field supervisor.
"The logical presumption is that people
are trying to poison wolves," Tabor said. "It is a presumption at this point.
There are other scenarios out there."
Tabor said there was a fair amount of wolf
activity in the Fisher Creek area last spring.
"Itís an area certainly that would be a
candidate where a person or persons would be inclined to do something like
that," Tabor said. "Weíre certainly looking at that as a strong possibility."
Tabor declined to release the name of the
dog owners. He said the dog, a chocolate lab, died Saturday night at the Sun
Valley Animal Center, south of Ketchum. Its owners had been camping about a mile
and a half up Fisher Creek Road from state Highway 75.
Tabor recommended that people going
camping in the Sawtooth Valley keep close track of their pets.
"Try not to let them go wandering off
where youíd have difficulty keeping track of what they eat," he said.
Also, if a dog exhibits symptoms like
frothing at the mouth, paralysis, seizures or confusion, it would be wise to
immediately seek the help of a veterinarian.
"This dog here died, but there have been
other instances where people getting a dog to a vet promptly after it consumed
poisoned bait were able to save the dog," he said.
Tabor said that, if the chocolate lab was
poisoned, it is unclear what kind of poison was used, or the method that was
used to deploy it.
In Yellowstone and Jackson, a pesticide
called Temik, which is commonly used to treat potatoes, has been found stuffed
inside ground beef or hollowed-out hot dogs and sausages that had been scattered
in forested areas.
"We donít know for sure in this case that
the dog picked up a bait," Tabor stressed.
However, this is at least the second
incident this year that a dog may have been poisoned in the Sawtooth Valley.
Early in the spring, a dog was sickened near Lower Stanley.
"I donít think it was ever confirmed that
it was poisoned, but the symptoms were very indicative of that," Tabor said.
Since March, more than two dozen cases
have been reported in rural Wyoming of dogs consuming hot dogs or meat chunks
laced with Temik and found by the sides of roads or trails. At least eight have