One dog died and another three are ill after being poisoned by strychnine, which the owner believes someone left in their kennel.
According to a Beltrami County Sheriff's Office incident report provided to BringMeTheNews, officers were called to a report on Tuesday of several dogs being poisoned at Grange Road Northwest, near Bemidji.
The call was made by Judy Quinn, who returned home to find two of her dogs acting sick, with two more falling ill later that night.
One of the dogs died while the other three are recovering. The vet told Quinn they believe the dogs ingested strychnine, which is used as a rodent poison.
She told police she doesn't use any chemical rodent poison and that she thinks that someone had targeted her smaller dogs by putting the poison in their kennel. She said her labrador, who doesn't use the kennel, didn't get sick at all.
She said she called the police to get out a warning to other pet owners.
Quinn posted pictures of her recovering dogs on her Facebook page, saying that her granddaughter's dog, Willis, succumbed to he poison, but the other three – named Watson, Tykoda and Willow – have responded to medication since Tuesday.
Police advice for pet owners
Tom Charboneau, of the Bemidji Police Department, told the Bemidji Pioneer there was a case in the city a few years ago when strychnine was placed in hamburger balls and given to dogs and cats living at a trailer park – with the culprits caught and charged.
He warns that poisoning animals is a felony offense, and has advised pet owners in the area to keep an eye on what their pets eat, even though this is sometimes difficult when they are not restrained on their property.
"Always keep food and water in a secure spot," he told the newspaper. "There's no excuse for what these people are doing, but the more responsibility we take as pet owners, the safer they will be."