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Mysterious poison case hits Tigard dog park

Antifreeze was left for pets at Ash Avenue Dog Park


by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Lily, a 2-year-old Husky, is recovering well after ingesting antifreeze left in a dog bowl at Tigard's Ash Avenue Dog Park.by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS - Owner Jennifer Schlottmann, pictured, and Christian Rajotte found the antifreeze in a bowl hidden in the park.Police have no new leads in the search for someone who attempted to poison area dogs at a local dog park.

A dog was poisoned at Ash Avenue Dog Park on Jan. 27 after the dog drank from a water bowl filled with what appeared to be antifreeze.

It was about 11 a.m. that Sunday, when Lily, a 2-year-old Siberian husky drank some of the dangerous liquid, which was placed in a dog bowl and hidden behind a large piece of play equipment at the park located at 12770 S.W. Ash Ave., off Southwest Burnham Street in downtown Tigard.

The sweet tasting liquid is poisonous to people and animals.

Lily’s owner, Christian Rajotte, 25, visits the park several times each week with the dog and said the poison was placed deliberately, well out of sight from the average dog park user.

“I saw the bowl tucked away out of sight, you would never have noticed it,” he said.

‘Going for high body count’

Spigots at the dog park are turned off during the cold winter months, prompting local dog park users to regularly supply gallon water bottles and dog bowls to keep the pooches hydrated. But this was different, Rajotte said.

“I didn’t know what to think,” Rajotte said. “It definitely wasn’t water. It was glowing green.”

The bowl was filled to the brim, Rajotte said. He was afraid to remove the bowl at first, unsure if the discolored liquid was meant as a supplement for the dogs, or was placed there by city workers for a reason, but after a few moments, decided to pour out the liquid and call police.

The green liquid was disposed of, as was some surrounding bark dust, which was also contaminated.

Rajotte said it was clear whoever left the bowl meant for dogs to suffer and die.

“He was going for a high body count, considering there were two or three quarts of antifreeze (in the bowl),” he said.

Rajotte said he didn’t see his dog drink the antifreeze, but began to suspect Lily may have drank some of the poison while he wasn’t looking.

“I’m a bit of a worry wort,” he said. “We decided to play it safe and take her to a vet. We would just die if we didn’t do anything and she got sick.”

Lily was taken to an urgent care veterinary clinic. A blood test revealed Lily ingested a mild amount of the antifreeze.

Lily stayed two nights in the clinic before returning home.

After a week of recovery, Lily is still healing, Rajotte said. “She is doing fine now. She is dandy, which is good.”

‘A random terrible thing’

by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Lily, a 2-year-old Husky, is recovering well after ingesting antifreeze left in a dog bowl at Tigard's Ash Avenue Dog Park.Rajotte said he hasn’t let Lily play at the dog park yet, but they will return once Lily is fully healed.

Dogs that ingest antifreeze have up to 12 hours before symptoms begin to show. Animals experience apaxia, a condition where they appear drunk and have poor balance.

By the time symptoms appear, veterinarians told Rajotte, it’s often too late.

Lily appears to be the only victim from the poisoning attempt.

Rajotte said he was glad no other dogs got sick and that the bowl was found earlier in the day before more dogs could come to the park and drink the antifreeze.

“I was glad I got rid of it when I did,” he said. “It could have been terrible.”

Social media exploded after the news of the attempted poisoning made headlines on Thursday and Friday, but despite the increased awareness, Rajotte said he doubts the suspect will be caught.

“It is not in a residential area, so there weren’t witnesses. It’s just a random terrible thing.”

Rajotte said the worst part about the incident was how helpless he felt about bringing the suspect to justice.

“There is nothing that people can do. Unless they were Batman,” Rajotte said.

Rajotte said he’d be bringing his own water and dog bowls to the park from now on.

“I’m going to assume the worst, and I’ll be checking around whenever I go to the park,” he said.

There are currently no suspects in the case, police said. The city’s parks department notified the Washington County Animal Services after the liquid was found and notices were placed at the city’s dog parks.

Dog park users are asked to keep an eye out for suspicious looking chemicals or activities and report anything out of the ordinary to the Tigard Police or the city’s parks department.

Tigard Police can be reached at 503-629-0111.

Tigard Parks Department can be reached at 503-718-2641.




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