Lack of evidence to back dog poisoning claim in Logan Circle

UPDATE: Monday – 7/01/2013, 12:49pm ET

WASHINGTON – Reports that someone was leaving poisoned dog treats in Logan Circle are unfounded, says the Washington Humane Society.

“After a thorough investigation by our Humane Law Enforcement division, we cannot substantiate the claim that there is anyone out there intentionally attempting to harm pets,” Scott Giacoppo, a Washington Humane Society spokesman says in a news release.

“Our investigation has revealed that one dog has been reported sick from the consumption of an unknown toxin. After a thorough investigation, which included outreach to every veterinary clinic in the District, we have received no evidence to indicate that this was intentional, happened in a public space or that there may be a threat to animal safety.”

The humane society decided to close the investigation after the dog’s owner did not cooperate with humane law enforcement officers and there was a lack of evidence to support the claim.

The humane society reminds pet owners to bring their pets to a veterinarian immediately if they notice signs of nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, weakness, rapid or difficult breathing, or pale, dark or blue gums within 12 hours after their pet may have an eaten an unknown substance.

EARLIER: Saturday – 6/29/2013, 2:41pm ET

Kathy Stewart, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – The Washington Humane Society is warning dog owners: Keep them on a short leash, especially in the Logan Circle area.

Scott Giacoppo of the Humane Society says they received “a call of concern” that a dog might have been poisoned.

He says they received a report that a dog had eaten a toxic substance. He adds that they’re conducting a criminal investigation, and can’t give details while it’s open, but he says they’re tracking down every lead.

Giacoppo advises all dog owners to always keep their pet on a leash. For one thing, it’s the law in D.C. For another, he says, when dogs are off-leash they’re more likely to get into trouble.

He says to pay attention to your pup. “When you’re walking your dog, keep your eye on what they’re doing. It only takes a blink for them to ingest something.” If your animal seems lethargic or starts vomiting, or you notice blood, he says, you need to contact your vet right away.

During Giacoppo’s more than 20 years of conducting animal cruelty investigations, he says, “One of the biggest problems out there I’ve seen the most is dogs ingesting anti-freeze.” He adds that owners should beware of household drugs which can be toxic to pets, such as Tylenol.

If anyone suspects animal cruelty, Giacoppo says, call the Humane Society right away: “That is what we do, and we take that very seriously, and we will investigate to the fullest extent and prosecute when warranted.”

The Washington Humane Society is Congressionally chartered. It has statutory right in D.C. to investigate animal cruelty. It was given that right one year after its founding in 1870.

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