Look out for suspicious bread in your yard – someone is trying to poison dogs again

If you find suspicious bread in your yard, you should file a police report.

Some jerk is trying to poison dogs in the Twin Cities again.

The St. Paul Police Department posted the warning on Facebook Friday, saying that there have been multiple incidents of people who found bread in their yards meant for their dogs. The bread contained a substance that "is believed to be poison," the post said.

Sgt. Mike Ernster told GoMN that it happened in the same neighborhood where at least eight dogs were sickened (and some died) by rat poison-laced food earlier this summer.

No one was ever caught in those incidents. So when a resident in the 1200-block of Minnehaha found chunks of bread in their back yard near their dog's water bowl Thursday night, they called the cops.

"Knowing this history, this resident correctly let us know what they had found and wanted to turn the bread over to us," Ernster said.

The bread was found before the dog had a chance to eat it, he added. Authorities have recovered the bread and the case is under investigation.The homeowner also told police that their neighbor had also found suspicious food in their yard, but hadn't reported it.

What to do if you find something suspicious

If you find bread – or any other suspicious food – in your yard and don't know where it came from, the police department is asking residents to call 651-292-1111 and file a report.

Don't throw the bread away – an officer can take it and have it tested for poison and to be used as evidence. Make sure to use a plastic baggie to pick it up, so you don't come in contact with anything harmful.

And just to be safe, you should scan your yard before letting your dogs outside, Ernster said.

"We also would like residents to call if they see anyone suspiciously walking through alleys, neighbors yards or possibly throwing food items into yards where animals typically reside," he added.

Reports of dogs eating poisoned treats that were deliberately left in people’s yards surface every few months in Minnesota and across the country. Just last month, someone was poisoning dogs in HopkinsThis 2013 Wired story looks at some incidents across the country, and in 2014, the website Dogster tried to get to the bottom of why someone would intentionally poison an animal.

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