Dog Owners, Parents Worry After Poison Found Near Popular Trail

By Mekahlo Medina
|  Thursday, Jun 26, 2014  |  Updated 7:52 AM PDT
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A rat poison being used by LA's Parks and Recreation Department is harming and sometimes even killing other animals. Now, the chemical’s potential proximity to pets and children is the latest source of concern. Mekahlo Medina reports from Griffith Park for the NBC4 News at 6 on Monday, June 23, 2014.

Mekahlo Medina/Troy McLaurin

A rat poison being used by LA's Parks and Recreation Department is harming and sometimes even killing other animals. Now, the chemical’s potential proximity to pets and children is the latest source of concern. Mekahlo Medina reports from Griffith Park for the NBC4 News at 6 on Monday, June 23, 2014.

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Dog owners and parents are on alert after a deadly rodent poison was found near popular Southern California hiking trails.

One concerned pup parent noticed her 12-year-old dog had gotten into something near the Vermont Canyon Tennis Courts restrooms, near Griffith Park and the Greek Theater.

She quickly realized it was poison and jumped into action to save her dog.

"I was hysterical. I was screaming because I knew exactly what it did," Laura Weekes said.

Her dog, Garbo, had ingested an anticoagulant rodenticide, or poison, which kills rodents by causing them to bleed from the inside out.

"It's very small pellets," Weekes said. "It doesn't look like M&M's but about the size of M&M's. It's green. Evidently it tastes like peanut butter, of course a dog would like or child would like."

Garbo survived, but Weekes found a tag attached to the box that appeared to connect the poison to the city's Department of Recreation and Parks.

Poison being spotted in areas frequented by hikers and other wildlife may not be that uncommon.

"I wasn't surprised," said Alison Simard of CLAW, or Citizens for Los Angeles Wildlife.

Simard said 95 percent of bobcats and 85 percent of coyotes in the Santa Monica Mountains have tested positive for the poison, and many have died.

Griffith Park's famous mountain lion P-22 is recovering from being sickened by rat poison.

Wildlife are also eating the rodents that eat the poison.

The poison is being outlawed by California for public use starting in July, but city agencies and pest control companies can still use it.

"I think that there just has to be a better solution," Weekes said.

Several attempts to get a comment from the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks.
were not returned by time of publication.
 

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