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Dog Poisoned in Strafford

Posted on Oct 18, 2007 - 1:54 PM
By John Freitag
The Herald in Randolph, VT
October 11, 2007

Two dogs in the Old City Falls area of Strafford were poisoned last week by antifreeze.

One of the dogs whose stomach contents were tested showed traces of hamburger along with antifreeze in a dog who is not fed hamburger. This has led to speculation that the dogs were deliberately poisoned.

Both dogs were put down at the vets after becoming very ill. The dogs, which belong to Chris and Lisa Kendall and Willis Phelps, frequently ran together in this area of town.

Signs have been posted in town warning of an individual in the Old City area who may be "poisoning dogs, cats, and meat-eating wildlife (foxes, coyotes, crows, ravens, etc.) Keep your animals close. Call State Police 234-9933 with info".

It was noted at the last Selectboard meeting that concern had been raised about the signs. Although they were not put up by the Selectboard, "the Board did not disagree with the signs being posted to warn people about this," according to the draft minutes of their Oct. 3 meeting.

Strafford Constable Jude Bishop and Orange County Sheriff Bill Bohnyak are taking a more cautious line, stating that they have no proof that the poisonings were intentional and it is possible that it may be an accidental case of mistakenly leaving out an open container of anti-freeze, which has a sweet taste for animals.

Law enforcement officials are taking the matter seriously, though, and intend to interview residents in the area to try to find the source of the antifreeze.

It is illegal in Vermont to leave poison to intentionally kill an animal, even on one's own property. While trapping and shooting are permitted, setting out poison with the intent that it be taken by an animal is against state law.

While the Strafford Dog Ordinance requires dogs to be on their owners’ property or under an owner’s control at all times, the reality of living in the country is that dogs often are allowed to run loose and do stray. It is far better to first contact the dog’s owner if their dog is a nuisance to you, as most all dog owners will then take it upon themselves to rectify the situation.

If there are still problems, First Constable Ed Eastman is also the Town Dog Officer and Pound Keeper and has the authority and means to deal with the situation.

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