County parks officials believe someone may be poisoning dogs at Snohomish park

SNOHOMISH, Wash. – Snohomish County Parks officials are warning pet owners to be on the alert at Willis Tucker Park.

At least one dog has died and several others have became seriously ill after visiting the park. Officials worry someone is intentionally leaving behind poison.

“She didn’t go quickly. She suffered,” said Barb Fink.

Fink said her husband, Bud, took their 5-year-old Brittany spaniel, Josie, to Willis Tucker Park on Thanksgiving Day. Three days later the dog died. Fink said the veterinarian determined Josie had eaten poison.

“She was a rock to us,” said Barb.

“We have two grown boys out of the house and she really was our daughter,” added Bud.

County officials believe at least one dog has died and several others because seriously ill after visiting the park since last fall.

Sue Batts only just learned about the poisonings after reading warning letters posted by park rangers alerting dog owners of the dangers.

“That’s really sad because you don’t know if there’s a meatball hanging out over there,” said Batts.

Veterinarian Dr. Donna Sowder said her clients have been calling and asking about poisoning symptoms. Sowder said she referred at least a half-dozen possible poison cases to larger vet facilities since November.

The Finks hope other pet owners will keep a close eye on their pets while visiting the park.

They don’t want any others to go through the pain of losing a dog like they did.

“Even if we we’re in a safe place with our pets, they need to be treated like little children,” Barb said.

Park rangers encourage dog owners to keep their pets within eyesight – to make sure they don’t eat anything that’s been tossed on the ground.

Anyone who spots suspicious activity is asked to call the Snohomish County Parks and Recreation Department at 425-388-6600.