Dog poisoning suspected in downtown park

Posted at 9:08 PM, Jul 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-14 00:08:19-04

One of downtown's more popular parks for dog walking may be filled with danger.

Now, residents are posting warnings to let other dog owners know that poison may be in the area.

Danielle Duncan loves to walk her Japanese Chin named Naphtali in downtown's Pantoja Park, for many reasons.

"They see other dogs, they play, they socialize, they see children, it's wonderful," she said. 

The grassy area provides humans - and dogs - an escape from the hustle and bustle on the surrounding blocks. But there may be a hidden danger. 

A resident in a surrounding complex posted a sign on one of the light posts, warning that dogs are becoming poisoned by something in the park. Symptoms include tremors and eyes rolling back.

One man told 10News he took his pitbull to the vet after he started acting strange and lethargic. He said his dog stopped digging in the grass like usual. 

A spokesman for County Animal Services said there have been no reports of dog poisoning, however it's up to pet owners - and not veterinarians - to report them. 

Duncan said she's shocked by the events. Now, she's keeping Naphtali mostly on the sidewalk, and definitely away from the figs that fall from the park's biggest tree.

"I think it would have to be malicious intent," she said. "I believe I think it would have to be with the fig and the fig trees because the dogs are drawn to it."

But whatever it may be, these days, Duncan's keeping Naphtali on an extra tight leash.