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Morgan Park Neighbors Say Woman Put Poison-Laced Hot Dogs On Lawn For Dogs To Eat; Alderman Says It's Not Legal, Even On Private Property

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Dog owners in Morgan Park are on high alert – accusing a neighbor of trying to poison their pets using hot dogs.

CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov looked into the claims Thursday night, and also into whether it is legal to leave poison on private property.

Hot dogs laced with a blue substance were found lying on the grass in Morgan Park. People living in the area where they were found believe the blue stuff is poison.

They are accusing a woman who lives on the block of deliberately placing the hot dogs on her own parkway and front yard – for dogs to eat.

"We were contacted here in the 19th Ward office," said Ald. Matt O'Shea (19th).

Ald. O'Shea then called police and Chicago Animal Care and Control.

"Obviously a very serious allegation; obviously very disturbing," O'Shea said.

Residents who did not want to talk on camera said they first saw the hot dogs laced with the blue substance in January. One concerned homeowner even picked up the food and kept it – as proof, if needed.

"There was just an allegation of poisoning, and we're out here investigating," said Acting Chicago Animal Care and Control Director Mamadou Diakhate when we found him outside the home in question earlier this week. Diakhate said he was talking to both sides.

We tried to talk with the accused homeowner too. She said, "Please get off my property."

Kozlov told the homeowner she just wanted to give her a chance to say anything about the allegations if she felt she needed to do so. She didn't.

Meanwhile, a public parkway is one thing. But what if homeowners put poison on their own private property – is that legal?

"It's illegal," O'Shea said.

O'Shea pointed to city code stating that it is unlawful for anyone to put poison "in any yards... or other open place on private premises, or on the outside of any building... where pet dogs, cats, or other domestic animals have access."

The code also states people can't "knowingly poison or cause to be poisoned any animal except with a written permit."

The fine is up to $5,000.

Animal Control's Diakhate said after two visits, investigators found no evidence of hot dogs or poison on that property and warned the homeowner against putting such things out. No citations were issued, but pet owner concerns linger.

Animal Care and Control employees will also now put up signs in Morgan Park, reminding everyone about pet etiquette as a result of this concern.

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