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Park View/Pleasant Plains/Columbia Heights Dog Owners Watch Out for Rat Poison Bait

by Prince Of Petworth May 23, 2017 at 2:45 pm 19 Comments

via Columbia Heights Listserv

Important warning for dog owners on the Columbia Heights listserv:

“Please be advised, the rat problem on the 700 block of Irving St. is completely out of control. It has gotten to the point where residents are taking matters into their own hands to place poison baits, and are doing so without placing the baits in a way that is safe for pets and other, non-target animals.

Our dog ate one of the baits the other day and had to take a trip to the emergency room. Fortunately, she is fine. Our neighbors on one side said that they found bait blocks on their porch, and that their dog had one in its mouth. We also found two on our porch. Now I am seeing reports that residents are finding chewed up remnants of poison blocks on the sidewalks and in Bruce Monroe Park. These are extremely dangerous, as dogs will eat them very quickly. Our dog almost ate one yesterday, it did not occur to me what it was.

I have attached a photo of one of the offending items. These are also dangerous to children who may come into contact with the poison. I also found a dead squirrel this morning that appeared to have been poisoned.

Quote below from one of our neighbors:

“Alert for pet-owners. I kept seeing these solid but slightly chewed up slider-sized things (photo attached) along the east side sidewalk on Irving and in Bruce Monroe Park, this morning on the walk with my dog. He kept trying to eat them but I kicked them away before he had the chance. Guessing they’re rat poison bait blocks, which come in different shapes, colors, and sizes (these were round and grey/tan). Be careful!

If you are a dog owner, please give this a look and make sure your pet is ok- this stuff can take a few days for the effects to materialize.”

  • Mark

    This is illegal. It’s illegal to have this not in a container.

  • VV

    What kind of psycho puts out deadly poison where pets and kids can get into it???

  • L.

    It seems that snap traps would be a better way to go here, rather than poisoning large swaths of DC wildlife and pets. I’ve never had rats but I once had a bad mouse problem in my home and after trying poison, those awful glue traps, etc., nothing did the job like snap traps. I also would wonder if they can address the root cause of rat infestation — is there a lot of garbage, etc. that the city should pick up more often? Can the city get some kind of industrial strength exterminator?

    • LittleBluePenguin

      This. The poison isn’t limited to the rats and mice – it’s having a significant impact on the hawks and other birds of prey / other predator animals. All those beautiful pictures we’ve admired on this site of hawks eagerly tearing into their breakfast rats could potentially be pictures of that bird’s last meal

      • Brittany P

        Also feral cats; outdoor cats. Another issue entirely that needs to be addressed, but this stuff kills them too.

        • anon

          Let’s not go on a feral cat tangent, please. I think we can all agree that poisoning them is not the way to go.

          • Clearly, Brittany P was not advocating poisoning feral cats, or outdoor cats, just warning that they are also affected by this. (But outdoor cats, sadly, are horribly likely to die by eating poison.)

  • Brittany Peet

    I’m so sorry to hear this! My dog also ate a plastic bag containing fried chicken coated with rat poison (I of course didn’t realize it was poisoned at the time, it’s not unusual to find benign trash back there, and he’s very smart and fast :-/) in the alley behind 3420/3426 16th St NW in Mt. Pleasant last week, and I found two more bags of chicken coated with rat poison on Sunday evening. That was when I realized that my dog had likely eaten poison. I took him to the emergency vet and they confirmed that he had ingested an anticoagulant rat poison. Thankfully he’s home and recovering now. I’ve reported this to authorities and Humane Law Enforcement is investigating. I’m not sure of the circumstances, but there was another dog in Friendship on Sunday night who had also eaten rat poison.

    • Anony

      in Friendship as in Friendship Heights?

      • Brittany Peet

        Friendship Animal Hospital, where I took my dog (it’s the only 24 hr clinic in the district). Sorry, should’ve made that more clear. My dog ingested poison in Mt. Pleasant.

        • Anony

          Thank you

      • anony

        Friendship as in the animal hospital.

      • Vet

        As in Friendship Animal Hospital (which has an ER)

  • Will

    That’s my photo and I’m the “neighbor” quoted at the bottom. I took that photo of the poison right next to the children’s swings in Bruce Monroe Park, where toddlers play every day. I encountered at least three of these things (my dog sniffed them out) on my quick walk this morning. I’m sure there’s more scattered around the area. I”m going to pick them up with doggie bags and throw them out if/when I see them again (please do the same if you see them). The rat problem is insane in this area (I see more rats out at night than squirrels in the day – no joke), but throwing poison bait around is not cool at all.

  • NO! – “I kicked them away before he had the chance.” Seriously – why would you just kick poison away so another dog can die instead of yours????? PICK IT UP! Throw it away. Pet owners, child owners, any sensible citizen – look for these poisons, pick them up and throw them away.

    • Mark

      Kicking away poison before your dog can eat it and picking it up and dropping it in the trash are not mutually exclusive. Wow, relax.

    • Will

      In retrospect, yes you’re absolutely right, Victoria. Mea culpa, but just a few things – 1. My dog is constantly trying to eat scraps of anything off the ground (usually harmless bits of food) so immediately kicking stuff away is instinctual for me at this point. 2. I didn’t realize what that stuff might be until after our walk. I took one photo of the third object to compare with images from Google later. Rat poison is usually brightly colored – green, red, or blue etc. This was more natural looking, like oatmeal or granola or something, so it wasn’t immediately obvious. I then posted my photo and warning to my FB community group. 3. If it makes a difference, I kicked the objects I encountered away into the street – presumably where kids and dogs don’t regularly play or wander, and where vehicle traffic would likely crush the objects into dust. Like I said, I’m going to carry extra doggie bags and pick up whatever I see going forward, and I’m asking other folks to do that same, please.

      • FridayGirl

        “My dog is constantly trying to eat scraps of anything off the ground (usually harmless bits of food) so immediately kicking stuff away is instinctual for me at this point.”
        +1 to this. Will has clearly done his due diligence at this point, and that would have been my knee-jerk reaction as well.

      • Hi Will – thanks for clarifying. I certainly understand not constantly thinking about all the various sidewalk garbage one’s dog (my dog!) might eat, and not realizing at first that it could be poison.
        The initial post did sound like someone just kicked it away knowing it was poison – which is horrible – but this is a good reminder that postings on blogs/listservs etc. can often be scanty and not provide all the information.


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