Residents in a southwest Lubbock neighborhood have experienced the loss of pets and seen a large number of dead strays, leading them to wonder if the animals were poisoned. Now the entire neighborhood is coming together to gather evidence in hopes that they can track down the person responsible. Their hope is to help prevent other animals falling victim to the same tragedy.
"For the past 8 to 10 months, we've seen around 8 to 10 stray cats," said Raintree neighborhood resident Amber Machin.
She, along with other nearby residents have come across dead feral cats in the alley off 86th Street near Kenosha Drive.
It seemed disturbing but hit home when Machin came home on March 24 to find her Greyhound Zola dead and her lab Daisy fighting for her life.
"All of her symptoms were of a cholinergic toxicity. She had excessive urination and diarrhea foaming at the mouth and seizures," said Machin. "So all that put together is very consistent with poisoning."
Machin took her beloved dogs to Small Animal Emergency Clinic at 5103 34th Street. Dr. Key wrote "possible poisoning" however, Machin is still awaiting toxicology results to confirm whether or not her dogs were poisoned.
Machin said she contacted Lubbock Animal Control about the alleged poisonings.
"We've spoken with Animal Control, our parents have spoken with Animal Control, the people behind us have called multiple times and nothing has been done," said Machin.
"All we knew about was the cat," said Animal Control Supervisor, Shawn Byrd. "I'm not personally aware of anything about the dog."
Byrd said he still hasn't seen any evidence that the dead cats found were poisoned. "The officer that responded didn't notice anything strange about the animals. Unfortunately, we pick up deceased animals every day," said Byrd.
According to Byrd, even if the cats or Machin's dogs were poisoned, it would be extremely hard to trace. He said that some things that aren't seen as poisonous to people can be deadly for animals.
"There are flowers and plants that you don't think of: lilies, tulips, dunk weed, skunk wheat. It's just coming out this time of year."
In addition to plants, fertilizers and herbicides can also be lethal to pets. Byrd said the only way to completely safeguard your pet from danger is to keep them indoors.
"You can make your yard safe for your animals and your house but once you get outside your property, you can't guarantee your animal will be safe," said Byrd.
As far the Raintree neighborhood is concerned, Byrd said in order to investigate the situation, it is vital for the neighborhood to help Animal Control to gather evidence.
"It seems like someone intentionally left something in the alley that an animal would want to eat that had the poison in it," said Machin.
Machin said she has already begun putting up flyers all around the neighborhood to warn others. "What's really concerning is that we're right across the street from a school," said Machin. "Kids are out all the time, it's very dangerous."
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