Attention Minneapolis pet owners, police say someone may be trying to poison animals

There are some things you can do to help.

Minneapolis police are warning residents about incidents of possible animal poisonings.

Apparently unknown foods are being thrown on people's property who live near the 4000-4600 blocks of Columbus Ave., the Minneapolis Police Department said Monday. A police department spokesperson told GoMN investigators are focusing on two incidents right now, noting bread that was found at both locations tested positive for a harmful chemical.

Two squirrels have died as a result of these incidents, but no dogs have died.

Animal Care and Control is investigating, with officials noting anyone who has information could be helpful to the investigation. Here's how you can help:

– If you see something suspicious – like someone dropping treats over a fence or someone feeding squirrels with something that doesn't look quite right – call 911 right away.

– If you think someone is trying to poison your dog and you find food on your property, here's what you can do: Call 311 to have Animal Care and Control pick it up to have it tested; or call 911 and have an officer come an inventory your yard for Animal Care and Control.

– If you have security cameras on your home that record activity outside, review videos for any suspicious activity.

The agency also has tips to keep your pet safe:

– Make sure your dog doesn't eat anything strange in your yard or at the park – teach your dog to "leave it" or "drop it," or if your dog loves to snack when on walks, you could buy a basket muzzle.

– And if you throw away food in your garbage or compost, make sure it's a tight container that can't be broken into by a squirrel or other animal.

GoMN has reached out to the Minneapolis Police Department for more information, and we'll update this story when we hear back.

Other incidents of dog poisonings

This isn't the first time there have been incidents of possible dog poisonings in the Twin Cities.

In December 2016, the St. Paul Police Department warned people to look in their yards for tainted treats after people found bread in their yards that contained a substance that was "believed to be poison."

There were also incidents of dog poisonings in Hopkins last fall. One dog died, the other had permanent organ damage after eating treats with antifreeze in them.

And in western Wisconsin last month, police warned of hot dogs being laced with something.

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