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Rat poison alerts pet owner

Dog returns to Old Town home with laced meat

Sandy Moon plays in her backyard with her 12-year-old dog, Solomon. Moon says she found a capsule of rat poison inside a hunk of meat he brought home last weekend.
John F. Russell

Sandy Moon is used to her dog, Solomon, bringing home a few treats after a morning out near Butcherknife Creek in Old Town Steamboat Springs. But she was alarmed when Solomon brought home a piece of raw meat with a turquoise capsule of rat poison embedded in its side last weekend.

After discovering the capsule, Moon immediately phoned veterinarians to find out what to do. Soon she was pouring hydrogen peroxide down Solomon’s throat to induce vomiting, and up came three to five pounds of meat.

Since that day, a few things have changed in Moon’s routine. Solomon no longer is allowed out by himself, and Moon said she keeps a close eye on everything he sniffs.



Moon said she has been trying to figure out a way the rat poison could have been with the meat by accident – perhaps combined in a garbage bin – but she acknowledges it’s unlikely.

“I don’t think it was directed toward him,” she said. “Perhaps someone was trying to take action against (off-leash dogs) and doing it the wrong way.”



Moon reported the incident to police, but without proof of where the meat came from, there is little officers can do. Because Solomon was roaming the neighborhood on his own in the pre-dawn hours, Moon can’t pin down the source.

Steamboat Springs Animal Control Officer Jennifer Good said she could not confirm that Solomon was poisoned, but she warned about the potential dangers of using poison.

“Indiscriminately setting out poison to get one animal might accidentally get someone else’s pet,” Good said.

Even if the targeted animal is killed – a mouse, for example – that animal still could be eaten by a pet, which will ingest the toxin with it.

City ordinance dictates pets must be kept on leashes at all times unless they are on the owner’s property or in a car, Good said, adding that keeping a close eye on pets is the best way to ensure their safety.

Moon said the incident has changed her ways. She’s making an effort to get up early to take Solomon out on a leash before she leaves for work.

She also is warning her neighbors about the potential danger.

“I’ve heard of this sort of thing happening, but I haven’t experienced it at all,” she said.

Solomon apparently is healthy and on a 14-day regimen of vitamin K to counteract the potential effects of the rat poison, but that doesn’t mean Moon is ready to rest yet.

“I’d love to get to the bottom of this,” she said.


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