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UPDATE: Boston Police investigating alleged Southie dog poisonings

South Boston dog owners are warning each other to keep an eye on their dogs after learning that some neighborhood pets were given treats tainted with poison.

Boston Police said today they are investigating rumors that someone has been slipping rat poisoning to dogs in South Boston.

"We are looking into it. We are sending detectives to talk to neighbors, but part of the problem is that no one has made a complaint to us, which is odd. Folks need to report it to us if something is going on," said Cheryl Fiandaca, a Boston Police spokeswoman.

Rumors started swirling yesterday that Southie pet owners should keep an eye on what their pets are eating while outside, because someone has been poisoning food and throwing them into yards on N Street and Farragut Park.

The Baldner family, of N Street, told WHDH-TV that they found cheese with rat poison in it and that the it made their dogs so sick that they had to be put down.

Calls to the Baldern's have not yet been returned.

"It's tragic. Most of my customers come from the South End or Southie, and we are certainly concerned for every dog not just our customers. It is so disheartening thinking that someone is out there doing this," Jane Fulton, owner of Fenway Bark, an overnight pet hotel in Boston.

Police arrested a landscaper in September for allegedly spreading anti-freeze laced hot dogs on a lawn to poison dogs in Charlestown.

Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Spokesman Rob Halpin said that while there are rare instances of people intentionally poisoning animals, it is not uncommon for pets to eat chemicals that were left for rodents.

"We don't see it as a trend of deliberately poisoning animals, but this seems to be a disturbing and isolated incident that the animal welfare world hopes should never happen," Haplin said, adding that the MSPCA was not investigating the Southie reports, but that the Animal Rescue League of Boston's law enforcement team was.

Metro's calls to the league have not yet been returned.

Regardless of whether rat poisoning has been strewn around the neighborhood with the intention of hurting pets, or eradicating rats, Halpin suggests pet owners keep their dogs indoors, or a close eye on them while outside.

"It is very important to stay vigilant, but not a time to panic," he said.

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