Two Sitka Dogs Die From Mystery Poison

A Sitka veterinarian is warning pet-owners away from a part of town where two dogs were poisoned this week.

Pet’s Choice Veterinary Hospital owner Victoria Vosburg says the dogs ingested the poison somewhere in the vicinity of the Sea Mountain Golf Course. It’s about 5 miles northwest of downtown Sitka.

She says the dogs had different owners, and were not in the area at the same time.

“Both dogs were not exhibiting the typical signs seen with any known poisoning. By the end, we were fairly sure that at least a component was antifreeze. But because the signs weren’t classic, we’re not really sure what was going on,” she said.

Vosburg says the dogs ingested the poison Monday evening and woke up Tuesday with severe vomiting. Both died of kidney failure.

She says she’s not blaming golf course operators – or anyone else.

“We don’t know how they got the poison. We don’t know where they got the poison. We do know both dogs were in the area of the golf course. So the message I want to get out to people is do not walk your pets in that area, just in case there is more poison out there,” she said.

Vosburg consulted with the ASPCA’s poison hotline during her efforts to save the dogs.

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Ed Schoenfeld is Regional News Director for CoastAlaska, a consortium of public radio stations in Ketchikan, Juneau, Sitka, Petersburg and Wrangell. He primarily covers Southeast Alaska regional topics, including the state ferry system, transboundary mining, the Tongass National Forest and Native corporations and issues. He has also worked as a manager, editor and reporter for the Juneau Empire newspaper and Juneau public radio station KTOO. He’s also reported for commercial station KINY in Juneau and public stations KPFA in Berkley, WYSO in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and WUHY in Philadelphia. He’s lived in Alaska since 1979 and is a contributor to Alaska Public Radio Network newscasts, the Northwest (Public Radio) News Network and National Native News. He is a board member of the Alaska Press Club. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, he lives in Douglas.