COLUMBUS (WKOW) -- Two dogs in a Columbus neighborhood died after eating rat poison found in their backyard. Police say a toddler also got a hold of the poison, but had no injuries.
Police are concerned that a product easily found at your neighborhood hardware store is being used in a way the makers never intended.
"We're assuming at this point somebody intentionally placed these poison sticks in the yards," says Columbus Police Chief Dan Meister.
The first report came from the North side of town when an owner found their dog dead in the backyard.
"They took it to the vet and found out that it was due to rat poisoning," Meister explains.
Owners were terrified when they saw what the poison looked like. Their toddler had been playing with the same small green stick in the backyard.
"They were concerned about other pet owners and children in the community," Meister says.
On Wednesday night a neighbor one block away reported the same exact thing. Two of their dogs had been poisoned.
"Unfortunately one is deceased but one I think they were able to save it," Meister says.
Pet owner Heidi Phillips lives in a few blocks from where the dogs were poisoned.
"Yeah, it just makes you wonder," Phillips says.
She plans to keep her dog "Peanut" on a much shorter leash for the time being.
"Every time he stops I'm looking because I don't know if he's after something," Phillips explains. "They're animals, they're going to eat something if it's sitting there you know?"
The rat poison is actually so toxic you're not even supposed to touch it with your bare skin. The companies that make it recommend putting it on their specifically designed container that keeps it away from dogs and kids.
"This is a product that not a lot of people are using at least in a residential sense. The fact that it was specifically placed into a yard where there were animals causes a little more concern for us," Meister says.
Anyone who thinks their dog may have been poisoned should first contact your family's veterinarian and then call Columbus police at 920-623-5919. Both poisonings happened in the same neighborhood, but officers are warning everyone in the Columbus area to be aware.
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