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2 Dogs Eat Rat Poison Found In Yard; 1 Dead

ROBBINSDALE, Minn. (WCCO) -- Pet owners in the north metro want to send a warning to others after their dogs accidentally ate rat poison.

Two incidents happened just a few miles apart in Robbinsdale and Crystal over the last week.

One pet owner reported his dogs ate what appeared to be dog biscuits in their own backyards that contained rat poison.

After talking with his veterinarian, owner George Schermerhorn found out it was rat poison and contacted Robbinsdale police.

Even his fenced in yard could not keep out danger.

"I realized when she came up to us that she had a piece of what looked like a baked dog treat in her mouth," Schermerhorn said.

On Friday night Schermerhorn rushed his 1-year-old schnauzer Stella to the veterinarian, who he said confirmed it was rat poison.

"It smelled kind of like a dog treat," he said.

Schermerhorn has no idea where the poison came from or if someone put it in his yard on purpose, but he wants other dog owners to keep an eye out before it's too late.

Anthony Levenz of Crystal came home last week after dinner to find his dog Cleo hurt.

Levenz also has a fence.

"She was paralyzed, couldn't move and just looked terrified," Levenz said.

As a registered nurse, Levenz hoped for the best but thought the dog named Cleo had likely ingested a poison based on her symptoms.

After a day in an emergency veterianry clinic, Levenz told WCCO he decided it was time to put his beloved pet to sleep.

Cleo the dog was a 13-year-old dog he adopted three years ago when her owners could no longer care for her.

"She had tumors at the time and the family could not afford the cost to remove them," Levenz said.

Levenz saved her once back then but unfortunately could not save Cleo again from a poison ingested in the very place she was supposed to be safe, their own backyard.

"I just really want people to know that this is out there. You can buy it over the counter. People use it to kill rabbits or rats or whatever," Levenz said, "but if your pet gets it, if your kid gets it, it is dangerous."

Robbinsdale Police Department is investigating the incident where the dog survived in Robbinsdale.

Levenz said he did not report Cleo's death to authorities because he thought the poison may have been accidentally transferred into his yard.

Police said there is no reason at this point to believe there was foul play but also want pet owners to keep an eye out in their own yards.

Police said pest and rodent problems tend to increase in the fall, so more people will likely be using rat poison in the coming months which may increase the chances of it spreading to other lawns through other small animals.

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