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Dog Poisonings Spur Calls for Better Lawn Signage

A resident claims that three dog poisonings occurred within a one block radius in Brentwood.

The Brentwood Community Council voted on Tuesday night to support an ordinance enforcing proper signage for public areas where gopher poison has been used.

The vote came after Brentwood resident Rebecca Barron told the council that three dogs had recently died from secondary exposure to poisons dispersed on a lawn in Brentwood.

Barron submitted the motion to the community council and it will also be sent to Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl's office for a study on the feasibility of issuing a citywide ordinance.

Barron told the council that in the last two months within the areas near Gorham, Barrington and Montana avenues, people have been putting poison on their lawns to disperse gophers and rats and three dogs were reportedly exposed to it. Of those three dogs, two died and one survived, with confirmation from their respective veterinarians, Barron said.

Barron noted that a fourth dog died within the last year and lived in a building putting down the gopher poisons. However, she did not get official confirmation of that dog's cause of death from the veterinarian, but it exhibited the symptoms consistent with the other three dogs.

"There’s nothing letting you know someone put this out on the public lawn," she said. "This isn’t safe for pets. I've done a lot of research. It says do not let children near these chemicals. It could be fatal for them, too.

Barron said she knows the building that is using gopher poison.

"A 3-year-old boy is running up and down the grass," she said. "Be responsible and let people know when you put these out, and for how long, so we know where our dogs shouldn’t be sitting around."

Barron said gopher poison is meant to sit around, so it kills off rodents in waves and the long term the problem is solved.

Patch contacted several veterinary services in the area, including the VCA Brentwood Animal Hospital and the Animal Specialty and Emergency Center of Los Angeles and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, all of which could not confirm that area dogs have come into contact with gopher poison specifically.

"Gopher bait poisonings are uncommon," said Dr. Joan Dolance, director of emergency services and critical care at ASEC. "It could have more likely been snail bait."

Snail poisons are common in outdoor gardens, said Dolance, and the easiest way to keep your pet safe is to keep them on a leash and don't let them stray into unfamiliar areas.

Chairman Emeritus Raymond Klein suggested that Brentwood's homeowner associations request their members put out signage if they’re going to put out gopher poison, and that Council District 11 request Councilman Rosendahl seek to study and consider the feasibility to enact citywide ordinance.

"It wouldn’t be just for Brentwood," Klein said. "In some cases you don’t know if the rats eat the poison and if dogs eat the rats."

Other community council members agreed that it's a problem nationwide, suggesting stores be asked to stop carrying the product and that the poisons be outlawed.

--Jared Morgan contributed to this report.

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