Dogs, coyotes found poisoned in Strathcona County

RCMP in Strathcona County east of Edmonton are investigating a series of poisonings last month involving dogs and coyotes.
Lois Gartner's dog Sam is shown after surviving a poisoning last week. (Courtesy of Lois Gartner )

RCMP in Strathcona County east of Edmonton are investigating a series of poisonings last month involving dogs and coyotes.

Police began investigating after a resident living south of Ardrossan reported that their pet dog died after a series of seizures.

Then another family nearby told police their dog also suffered seizures after being poisoned, but was saved by a veterinarian.

In the course of their investigation, police learned that a number of dead coyotes which had apparently been poisoned were found by people in the area.

"It could be someone who has a coyote problem and they’re trying to control the situation by using poison," said Const. Wally Henry from Strathcona RCMP. "Again, that is illegal to do."

Lois Gartner walks with her two dogs Sam and Jasper on her property near Ardrossan. (CBC)

Lois Gartner owns the pet that survived, a female dog named Sam. Last week, Sam showed up at the house with a bone in her mouth.

"An hour after she had it and had it taken away from her, she started in seizures," Gartner said. "She was a perfectly healthy dog up until then."

Sam suffered a number of seizures over a ten-hour period and for a while it wasn't clear if she would survive. The dog spent another two days in the emergency veterinary clinic over concerns at how severe the seizures were.

"Both vets in both places believe that it's toxins, that she'd been poisoned," Gartner said.

"They have a feeling that someone has baited or laced meat and put it out for the coyotes in hoping that it would kill them."

Gartner is concerned that the poison could hurt more than coyotes.

"It can do extensive damage to a family because they've lost their pet," she said. "What happens if the next one is a kid?"

Gartner's pet will be taking anti-seizure medication for another month but it's not clear what the long-term effects will be.

She says that anyone who thinks poison is the best way to control coyotes should think again.

"It's an inhumane way to kill any animal ... It's a terrible, terrible way to die."

The poisonings are believed to have happened between Feb. 26 and 28. Police are asking anyone with information to contact Strathcona County RCMP.


With files from the CBC's Marion Warnica