Police in Charlestown, Massachusetts are investigating a landscaper who neighbors say has been poisoning hot dogs to keep dogs off the lawn of the Brick Layers and Allied Craftsmen Union.
Ryan O’Connell was walking his dog, a boxer-basset hound mix named Terry, by the Brick Layers and Allied Craftsmen Union six months ago when the dog lunged onto the grass. When O’Connell pulled Terry back he saw and yanked green pieces of hot dog out of his mouth. Terry was sick for days after the incident. He couldn’t control his urinating and was throwing up everywhere.
This past Sunday, O’Connell was taking another stroll through his neighborhood when he spotted a man outside the same building. The man had a five-gallon bucket that was filled of chopped-up hot dogs in what looked like antifreeze. “I saw him with the hot dogs and they were marinating in a green liquid,” O’Connell said. “I asked him if he was poisoning the dogs and he said the ones that weren’t staying off the lawn.”
O’Connell took Terry home and returned to the building to pick up a few of the poisoned hot dogs to bring to the police. O’Connell isn’t the only one whose dog has been poisoned, as word spread about the investigation others came forward. One of the neighbors, Marcia Cunha, whose dog Big Boy became ill from the hotdogs, also pointed out that there is a lot of foot traffic in that area of the neighborhood and a lot of children. A child easily could’ve picked one of the hot dogs up and become sick.
The lawn has several signs warning neighbors to keep dogs off the grass. While neighbors like Marcia Cunha don’t blame the landscaper for being angry at dogs going to the bathroom on the lawn, trying to kill the dogs is taking it too far. Erin Gove, a veterinarian in the area, warned that death by antifreeze is very painful. “It puts them into kidney failure,” Gove said. “Any amount really is kind of dangerous.” Gove also pointed out that antifreeze tastes very sweet and therefore animals are attracted to it.
Police are investigating the situation. For many neighbors, like O’Connell, they just want to make sure their dogs are safe. “I just don’t want any other dogs to get hurt. Obviously he should be punished in some way but as long as the action stops and no other dogs get sick,” O’Connell said.