TALL TAILS: There's no evidence dogs were poisoned on Kelowna trail | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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TALL TAILS: There's no evidence dogs were poisoned on Kelowna trail

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July 06, 2017 - 6:30 PM

KELOWNA – The Kelowna SPCA says there is no evidence dogs are being poisoned near the Myra Canyon Trestles.

Shortly after midnight yesterday, July 5, Paws It Forward dog rescue posted to their Facebook page a warning, accompanied by several skull and crossbones and a graphic with the words POISON and DANGER in bold font.

“Pet owners - Avoid the McCulloch Lake area, the road to AND including the Myra Canyon Trestles. ALL surrounding trails as well. There has been poisoned pieces of meat/treats left around,” the post begins.

The post has been shared more than 1,500 times.

The Kelowna SPCA is the first place most people go in cases of animal abuse, however branch manager Sean Hogan says they have been unable to confirm the reports.

He says his calls to Paws It Forward have not been returned and he has been unable to find the vet or whoever decided deliberate poisoning is the cause of animal distress and not simply a case of canine indigestion or other ailment.

“I reached out to sort of verify the information and I’ve gotten nothing back,” he says. "I’d like to hear from the owner but we just haven’t.”

Paws It Forward did not respond to requests for interviews or information.

The Facebook post was picked up as news by several media organizations without verification, including one that issued an 'update' to correct a story that one of the dogs died. Another outlet illustrated the story with what looks like visual evidence, but it's stock art of dog treats with poison that is entirely unrelated. There are no visuals or other evidence confirming the story.

It’s impossible to say what may have caused the dogs to become sick since neither Paws It Forward nor the dog owners have described symptoms or any other correlating factors that led them to issue the warning. Fairfield Animal Hospital veterinarian Dr. Stephen Ganton says aside from a few worried pet owners, they have gotten no calls of dog poisonings in Kelowna.

Dogs can become extremely ill suddenly for a number of reasons, he says, including eating spoiled food or drugs like marijuana and exposure to mycotoxins in soil.

“It could be a lot of other things,” he says. “Number one we’re seeing right now is heat stroke.”

Ganton says the symptoms of heat stroke go beyond panting. It can affect the brain, cause collapse, vomiting, shaking and seizures — symptoms easily mistaken for poisoning.

Hogan and his staff at the SPCA are always concerned when they hear of an animal suffering but urge caution when spreading unverified information. 

“We live in a time when people spread information quickly, for good or bad, whether verified or not. A responsible act is to try and verify.”

If your dog is ill, phone your veterinarian or an emergency animal hospital. If you suspect your dog has been deliberately poisoned, contact the B.C. SPCA Cruelty Investigations Department.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2017

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