Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sheriff: Dog was poisoned

Analysis leads to criminal investigation


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

Laboratory analysis confirms that a dog that died after eating meat it found in the Lake Creek area north of Ketchum last month was poisoned by the artificial sweetener xylitol, Blaine County Sheriff Gene Ramsey reported Monday.

The investigation, initially conducted by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, has now been taken over by the sheriff’s office because it involved illegal poisoning of a domestic animal, Ramsey said.

The dog, a 6-year-old American Staffordshire terrier named Skylar, died several days after ingesting meatball-size chunks of meat it found while on a walk with its owner in mid-August. Xylitol, a commonly used sugar replacement, is safe for human consumption but can cause liver failure in dogs and other canines.

Ramsey speculated earlier that Skylar probably was not the intended target of the poisoned meat but that instead it was likely left for coyotes or wolves.

Ramsey said Monday that he doesn’t believe the poisoning was accidental.

“It’s highly likely when they mixed it they knew what was going on,” Ramsey said. “At the scene, we found several pieces of what appeared to be ground meat. We now know that it was an intentional poisoning; we don’t think it happened by accident.”

Meanwhile, pro-wolf activist Lynne Stone reported Monday that her dog, a 12-year-old animal named Bo, also ingested meatball-size chunks of meat in the Lake Creek area on Aug. 23. Stone reported that her dog was forced to throw up when treated at the Sun Valley Animal Center and that now Bo seems to be OK.

Ramsey said dog poisonings are not common in Blaine County but he cautioned pet owners to be watchful.

“People need to be careful when they’re out there and watch what their dogs ingest.”

Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress.com




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