Another dog death possibly tied to San Diego park

Posted at 11:13 PM, Jun 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-27 19:50:13-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – Another mysterious dog death has been tied to the Grape Street Dog Park. On Thursday, several viewers reached out to tell 10News that three dogs had died after visits to the park.

We spoke with one owner, who asked us to keep her name private. She said her Yorkshire Terrier died hours after they got home from the park.

RELATED: Neighbors: Dogs being poisoned at Grape Street Dog Park

After watching our story on 10News at 11 p.m., a second dog owner came forward. Bridget Martin says her dog also died after a visit to the park. Symptoms are similar but not identical to the first case we covered.  Most have reported stomach issues leading to vomiting or diarrhea.

Since the deaths, dog owners in the neighborhood have been wary of taking their dogs to the park - and multiple hand-written signs have been posted as warnings.

Martin was out of town when her French Bulldog, Dozer, died.  She says she visited the park with her two dogs on June 15. She left 8-year-old Dozer with her mom while she was out of town and on Tuesday, Dozer starting acting like he was sick.

“He wasn’t feeling well," Martin said. "(He was) throwing up and panting a lot."

Her mom told her that he seemed to get better, but took a nap Wednesday and never woke up.

“We’re all just completely shocked,” Martin said, adding that Dozer had allergies and skin issues but was otherwise a healthy dog. 

“He’d been happy, healthy running around more than I’ve seen in a long time,” she said. “We were joking around that he was going to live until he was 20.”

Martin says she thought her dog might have died of heat stroke, until her friend called her Thursday, with news about the dog park and the story by 10News.

“She said I know you’ve been out of town, but I just want you to know to there have been some issues going on at the dog park,” Martin said.

Martin hasn’t confirmed what killed her dog. She also can’t confidently say it’s because of something at Grape Street Dog Park because she takes her dogs to other parks. 

However, she is now weary of Grape Street Dog Park.



“(Someone) should definitely look into it,” Martin said, “three dogs is a big coincidence.”

A City Spokesman sent 10News the following statement on Thursday:

"The City does not use fertilizers or pesticides in dog off leash areas.

The City is aware of potential issues that can arise when some dogs are exposed to fertilizer or pesticides, and we take precautions to ensure the safety of dogs when they visit these off-leash areas."

10News reached out to the city again Friday afternoon about the new developments.  A spokesman said they were not aware of the new cases.  They are alerting staff, and they will decide what if any action is necessary. 

They also told 10News that, beyond social media reports and media stories, no dog owners have come forward to the Department of Parks and Recreation about pet deaths. They're encouraging anyone with information or similar experiences to reach out via the "ask parks" system. To access it, click this link. 

If you think your dog has been poisoned, the pet poison helpline says you should remove it from the area immediately. Do not attempt to treat your pet without first talking to a vet or specialist. If you need help, contact the pet poison helpline.