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Posted at 4:31 PM ET, 06/17/2010

Va. authorities ID poison that killed dogs

By Washington Post editors

Police said Thursday that the poisonous substance believed to have caused the death of two Centreville, Va., dogs in May has been identified as strychnine, NBC 4 reports.

Now investigators are trying to find out how person got the poison.

Before 1990, strychnine was widely used in many rodent control products, but no strychnine pesticide products have been registered for use in Virginia since 1989, authorities said.

The mystery of what killed the dogs began May 26 when Animal Control officers were called to a home in the 15100 block of Olddale Road in Centreville to check on a report of two dead dogs, The Post's Matt Zapotosky reported.

Investigators determined the dogs, a five-month-old pit bull puppy and an adult West Highland terrier, had “ingested something that resembles a meatball with what we believe at this point to contain some unidentified toxic substance,” said Officer Don Gotthardt, a Fairfax County police spokesman.

A Bichon also lived in the home with the pit bull and was taken to a veterinarian for precautionary reasons, Gotthardt said. He said the dog was determined to be OK.

The two houses where dogs were killed sit across the street from each other, and police believe they were “likely targeted,” Gotthardt said. Police said in a news released they also found meatballs at a third house. Gotthardt said investigators were exploring whether the dog owners had any disputes with others in the neighborhood over their animals, but “at this point, I know of no such disputes or confrontations.” Gotthardt said other dog owners in the area should be vigilant for any suspicious activity.

By Washington Post editors  | June 17, 2010; 4:31 PM ET
Categories:  Crime and Public Safety, Virginia  | Tags:  centreville, dogs, poison  
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Hopefully the cops will find the clowns that did this, and treat them to a meatball dinner.

Posted by: BEEPEE | June 18, 2010 1:24 AM | Report abuse

Clowns doesn't describe a person who would poison innocent, trusting creatures. Whoever did this should be checked for other sinister crimes against animals and humans, especially children.

Posted by: FiatBooks | June 18, 2010 5:40 AM | Report abuse

25 years ago when I lived out in western Loudoun we came home to find one of our dogs had suddenly died in her doghouse. They were allowed to roam because at that time the area was really undeveloped with nothing but gravel roads nearby but they always stayed around the house for the most part, greeting us everyday when we got home. We took her to the vet to see what happened and the vet said it was probably some type of poison, possibly rat poisoning. I suspected a mean old neighbor but we never found out who did it or even for sure if it was poison. I cried for a year and then everytime I thought about it for several years, partly because I felt guilty that we didn't protect her well enough. I can't imagine what it would feel like to know for sure someone entered your home or yard to do this.

Posted by: SusanMarie2 | June 18, 2010 7:46 AM | Report abuse

Whoever would hurt a loving innocent animal deserves harsh punishment. I wish there were laws that had harsher punishments for this type of abuse- IMHO it is a form of premeditated murder. The meatball dinner idea sounds good to me.

Posted by: lsf07 | June 18, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

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