Skip to main content

Animal control officials are reminding pet owners to watch their pets "very closely" after 15 animals were poisoned in Washington County in the past week.

Five cats, three dogs and seven squirrels in Baytown Township, Hugo and the Lake Elmo area have died after suspected poisonings, Companion Animal Control, which provides animal control services to more than two dozen cities in Washington County and parts of Wisconsin, said on Facebook Sunday.

"Since none of these cases have produced evidence of intentional poisoning on private property, at this time we can only conclude that as the temps drop people are putting out rodent poisoning to prevent rodents from occupying indoor spaces," Companion Animal Control said. 

So, the agency is encouraging pet owners to watch their animals "very closely" when they're outside — walk them on a leash to prevent them from eating any potential poison and don't leave them unattended. 

"If you suspect your animal has been poisoned intentionally, immediately go to a veterinarian and contact us to prompt an investigation," Companion Animal Control said. 

Some common signs of poisoning can include vomiting, diarrhea, drooling/hyper salivating, lack of appetite, nausea, coughing up blood, vomiting blood, pale gums, a racing heart rate, weakness or lethargy and collapse. 

Rodenticide is a common hazard for pets and wildlife, and is responsible for regularly sickening and killing unintended animal targets.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, rodenticides were the most common known causes of poisonings among pets in 25 states in 2016, including in Minnesota. 

In 2019, bromethalin rat poison was the top reported pet toxin in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa, as well as seven other states, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) said. Pet poison control can be reached at 888-426-4435.

This is why animal advocates encourage homeowners who want to prevent rodents from getting into their homes in the fall and winter to use nontoxic control methods, such as snap traps, live traps and electronic traps. 

That's because dogs, cats and children could end up eating the poison, harming or killing them. 

And because the poison doesn't kill a rat or mouse right away — it eats the poison and then "stumbles around for three to four days" — it becomes a toxic meal for other animals, such as foxes, coyotes, raccoons, dogs, cats, owls and birds of prey, Audubon says. When nontarget animals eat a mouse or rat that has consumed poison, it can kill them outright, or weaken them so they're more likely to die from another cause. 

If you have to use rodenticides, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends storing pesticides away from the reach of children and pets, and only placing traps or baits where children and pets can't get them. 

The American Veterinary Medical Association adds rodenticides may kill the rodents that eat the poison, but it won't prevent the animals from coming back. 

To prevent future infestations of mice, rats, and other rodents, homeowners need to make their homes less attractive to rodents by sealing holes, storing food and pet food in containers and routinely cleaning. 

Next Up

covid

Mayo Clinic specialist: 'The omicron surge is not over'

Experts expect a rapid decline over the next month followed a period of calm.

police lights

Charges: Man in stolen Jeep leads police on 110 mph chase

He crashed into a light post near the Capitol and then fled on foot, the complaint says.

kua dog go fund me

Puppy in back of stolen Audi found, reunited with owner

The 4 1/2-month-old bullmastiff had been missing more than a week.

Fuzzy Gerdes Flickr Franks Diner Kenosha

WI's best 'hole-in-the-wall' diner is Guy Fieri-approved

Come for the "garbage pile," stay for ... even more breakfast food.

FKISmwPWUAYZJW6

Minnesota's pre-pro women's soccer team unveils name, logo

The new name and look was unveiled after community owners voted on a winner.

fentanyl DEA

21 people charged in connection to drug trafficking in northern MN

Police say the organization sold more than 10 pounds of heroin and fentanyl in northern Minnesota.

Band Box Diner Courtney Mault Flickr

MN's 'best hole-in-the-wall diner' is, sadly, currently closed

MSN recently published its pick for best diner in each state.

covid

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Thursday, January 27

Cases remain very high but hospitalizations have been plateaued for the past week.

state patrol

Minnesota state trooper injured at crash scene on I-35

The trooper was in his squad when another vehicle struck.

money hundred dollar bills

Charges: Man stole thousands from 3 Twin Cities banks

When he was arrested, police found a folding knife on him.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah

Here's what Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said in his first press conference

The 40-year-old former Wall Street trader originally wanted to be an economics professor.

Related

Now possible animal poisonings are being reported in Apple Valley

Some pets and wild animals have apparently been poisoned.

mndot deer  tunnel 1

Minnesota is getting its first highway crossing for animals

This will provide a safe way for animals to cross the street, and hopefully limit deer-vehicle collisions.

munsinger gardens St. Cloud

Someone is shooting darts into animals in St. Cloud

Three animals were spotted with darts sticking out of them in a 24-hour period this weekend.

Screen Shot 2021-04-12 at 12.05.47 PM

Washington County to decide charges against officer who killed Daunte Wright

Hennepin County Mike Freeman sent the case to Washington County per a new practice among metro area county attorneys.

ambulance

8 people in Shakopee taken to hospital for CO poisoning

The family called 911 after three people were feeling sick.

Jenna Fish

Family's warning after teen's tragic death from CO poisoning at Thanksgiving

A 17-year-old girl from Delano died after Thanksgiving due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

beaver

Minneapolis clarifies how it will deal with problem animals in city parks

Wildlife, such as beavers, have caused problems in some areas of the city.