Update posted on Apr. 14, 2015:
The Department of Agriculture said hot dogs found in Ewa Beach are not stuffed with rat poison. Officials say they ran tests on the hot dogs and compared them to four common rat poisons. They all came back negative. The department is now testing for further compounds.
Original story posted on Dec. 18, 2014:
According to some Ewa Beach residents, someone is leaving out hot dogs believed to be stuffed with rat poison.
Residents at the Ocean Point subdivision say there are no rats in the area, so it’s unlikely they’re trying to get rid of the pests.
Instead, residents fear, the culprit may actually targeting pets in the neighborhood.
One hot dog was found in a front yard Tuesday night. Then, during a walk Wednesday night, a woman noticed her dog eating something off the ground.
“She did chomp into it. Her teeth marks were in it. I had to drag it out of her mouth with my fingers, so I don’t know if she got any in her mouth,” she said.
The woman didn’t want to be identified because she’s afraid the person behind it might go after her too.
“If someone’s malicious enough to kill an animal that way, who knows what someone can do,” she said.
She’s not the only one feeling nervous. Many residents KHON2 spoke with said they too have pets walking the area, and it’s not just pets that they’re worried about.
“My daughter is only three years old and she could have easily grabbed the hot dog and maybe, somehow, got it in her hands and put it in her mouth,” said resident Mike Kitchens, “so it’s not just a pet thing. It’s also a child thing.”
“It’s scary when it’s in your own street and somebody’s trying to harm pets and they can harm the children,” said resident Sandi Hayes. “It’s very frightening. It’s Christmas time, come on.”
Investigators with the Hawaiian Humane Society are looking into it.
Dr. Carrie White, a veterinarian with VCA Family Animal Hospital in Pearl City, says it is extremely dangerous for dogs and cats to ingest rat poison.
“It tends to cause problems with blood clotting, so patients can have bleeding issues,” she said. “It can be life threatening and patients can develop serious anemia that if they don’t receive immediate medical attention. It can be fatal.”
Symptoms such as bleeding from the nose and mouth can occur. The problem is, those won’t show for at least a couple of days and that might be too late.
“The earlier we can detect it and treat it, the more successful we’re going to be,” White said.
Poisoning animals is considered animal cruelty, which can be a felony offense. The maximum penalty is five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.