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Report of dogs taken to animal hospital after possible hazardous substance found in park: police

Toronto police say two dogs were taken to an animal hospital after consuming a possible hazardous substance mixed into a peanut butter jar Friday at an East York park.  (Toronto Police Service handout - image credit)
Toronto police say two dogs were taken to an animal hospital after consuming a possible hazardous substance mixed into a peanut butter jar Friday at an East York park. (Toronto Police Service handout - image credit)

Toronto police are warning dog owners to stay vigilant after a potentially hazardous substance was found within a peanut butter jar at a park in East York.

Mark Rullo says he was walking his dog Milo, and his neighbour's dog Piper, at Taylor Creek Park Friday evening, when they got into a peanut butter jar lying on the ground. He says he took the jar away, and noticed something that looked like pellets.

As a precaution, both dogs were taken to the vet, along with the jar, Rullo said.

"They pulled apart the peanut butter and determined it looked like it was rat poison," he said. To be safe, both dogs were induced to vomit and put on an antidote. The dogs have now been released, but Rullo says they're a bit sluggish and will need to be monitored for a month.

Rullo says he's "completely disgusted" that someone would leave a potentially hazardous substance in a public place, and he wants others in the community to be on the lookout for similar substances being left on the ground around the park.

"Why would you do something like this," said Rullo's neighbour, Tyler Schlomb, whose dog is also recovering. "To be honest, I hope we find this guy and feed him a peanut butter sandwich and see how he likes it."

Tyler Schlomb, left, and Mark Rullo, right, say their dogs Piper and Milo had to go to the vet after getting into a peanut butter jar lying on the ground in a Toronto park with a potentially hazardous substance inside.
Tyler Schlomb, left, and Mark Rullo, right, say their dogs Piper and Milo had to go to the vet after getting into a peanut butter jar lying on the ground in a Toronto park with a potentially hazardous substance inside.

Tyler Schlomb, left, and Mark Rullo, right, say their dogs Piper and Milo had to go to the vet after getting into a peanut butter jar lying on the ground in a Toronto park with a potentially hazardous substance inside. (Anam Khan/CBC)

Police, who were called to the scene by Rullo, are also asking people in the community to be vigilant.

Officers responded to a call about a suspicious incident at around 7 p.m. on Friday at Taylor Creek Park, according to a news release Saturday.

Investigators are warning the public to be aware of the unknown substance, which may be harmful or fatal if ingested, especially to animals and children.

Police, city asking public to be aware

Police have not yet identified the substance and there is an ongoing investigation into the incident, spokesperson Cindy Chung said.

Chung asked anyone who saw "anything suspicious or anybody dropping objects or things in the park" on Friday to report it to police. She also told CBC Toronto that dog owners and parents should "be on the watch.

"It's really disturbing and unfortunate that we have to take extra care because there are people out there who want to do harm," she added.

Chung said police are advising anyone who experiences a similar incident to seek immediate medical attention for their dog and report it to investigators.

The City of Toronto requires dogs to be kept on a leash, except within designated off-leash areas, said city spokesperson Elise von Scheel in a statement Sunday.

She said the city recommends that people closely monitor their pets' activity both on and off leash.

"We encourage anyone who comes across suspicious materials in dog parks to report the incident to police," she added.

Anyone with information on this is asked to contact police.