Loose dog threatened with poison

Christina Kerley is keeping a close watch on her two dogs after discovering a threatening message taped to her mailbox last week.

Christina Kerley is keeping a close watch on her two dogs after discovering a threatening message taped to her mailbox last week.

“To the owners of the black Lab with red collar, I will be putting rat poison in my garbage so please keep your dog tied or fenced in,” said the message.

The Cowley Creek resident noticed two copies of the handwritten message when she visited her community’s mailbox station last Wednesday.

The anonymous note didn’t refer to either of her dogs, but it worried her anyway.

“My instant thought when seeing the note was, what if the dog’s owner didn’t stop at the mailbox that day?” said Kerley, who said she doesn’t know the owners of the black Lab.

“The dog would be poisoned and it wouldn’t be the dog’s fault.”

In response to the note, Kerley posted her own message, signed and featuring a picture of her two black Newfoundland dogs.

“In all the places I have lived, from large cities to unincorporated towns of population 200, I have never seen a threatening note like this one, anonymously posted,” she wrote.

The concerned neighbour should have first spoken with the dog’s owner to work out a solution before making such a threat, she said.

“I have no words to describe that someone like that is living in this subdivision.”

The note is now being investigated by the RCMP.

“It does fall under the criminal code for uttering threats,” said city bylaw manager Dave Pruden.

If a dog were found to be baited and poisoned, that would be investigated too, since it is illegal, he said.

A bylaw officer is now knocking on doors in Cowley Creek looking for the owner of the black Lab.

Kerley tried contacting the territory’s animal cruelty officer, but he isn’t able to do anything until the RCMP have finished investigating the case, she said.

But she did contact the Mae Bachur Animal Shelter to let them know about the message she found.

They’ll be adding a notice in their weekly pet report warning Cowley Creek residents to keep their animals tethered.

Kerley notices loose dogs running through Cowley Creek every so often, but doesn’t consider it a problem.

“It’s not like we’re living downtown,” she said, explaining that many of the lots near her are between three to five acres and aren’t fenced.

Cowley Creek doesn’t stand out in particular for being a neighbourhood with a dog problem, said Pruden.

“Usually with country-residential areas we get less complaints,” he said. “Lots of neighbours in those areas don’t have issues with dogs visiting.”

Last month, bylaw services received 27 complaints about dogs running at large throughout the city.

People concerned about a loose dog in their neighbourhood should first contact bylaw services, said Pruden.

The city gives out live traps to people who are dealing with nuisance animals. When a trap has been sprung, a bylaw officer can come to pick up the animal.

Contact Vivian Belik at