Saskatoon woman finds her dogs chewing on rat poison-laced meat in backyard

Deb Schick found something dangerous and unexpected in her backyard this week.
Deb Schick's and her two dogs Hodge and Cash. The two dogs were nearly poisoned by a piece of meat found in her back yard. (Charles Hamilton/CBC News)

Deb Schick's dogs narrowly avoided serious harm after a dangerous discovery in her backyard this week. 

The Saskatoon dog owner says she and her husband found their dogs chewing on a piece of meat. Upon further inspection, it turned out the meat was poisonous. 

Two veterinarians, she said, found little grains that turned out to be rat poison in the meat.  

"The last thing you would expect someone to do is try and poison your dogs, to harm them," Schick said. 

Schick's yard, in the Avalon neighbourhood of Saskatoon, is fenced in. She says the only thing she can think is that someone intentionally threw the meat into the yard. 

"It could be someone who doesn't like dogs. And just threw it over my fence," she said. 

Owner has received complaints 

Schick says she has received complaints about her dogs barking. On four occasions she's even received formal complaints from the city. 

But she says her dogs are never out early in the morning or late at night and she isn't breaking any bylaws. Furthermore, she says, if someone has a problem she's open to talking.

"How hard is it to come and just knock on my door? And say could you just try and keep your dogs from barking?," she said. "I am happy to have that conversation with someone. I would much rather have that conversation that have my dogs being poisoned."

Dog poisoning common: vet

Cindy Shmon, the department head of Small Animal Clinical Sciences and the University Saskatchewan, says these kinds of poisoning are more common than people might think.

Sometimes it is someone intentionally putting out poison treats. Other times it's farm animals getting into rat poison. 

"What they cause is bleeding problems. So it stops the dog's blood from clotting," she said.

If pet owners can get to a vet quickly enough, the poisoning can be treated. But that doesn't always happen. 

"The problem is the people don't always know their dogs have gotten these treats because it's in their back yards," she said. 

Thankfully for Schick she did get to the vet in time. After inspecting the meat, her dogs were treated for the poisoning. 

Now she is telling her story as a cautionary tale. 

"I just can't actually believe this happened to us," she said. 

Schick said she and her husband were planning to file a police report. Police confirmed a report was made and an investigation was in its very early stages.