A dog owner discovered multiple pieces of rat poison covered in peanut butter scattered on the ground near a marina in Sidney and RCMP are warning the public.
Stephen Latimer works as a wharfinger at the Blue Peter Marina and tells Glacier Media he was warned about the incident by a customer.
“The customer who discovered it had a brand-new little puppy. He gets out of the car after dark and he has her on one of those retractable leashes and right away he saw that she grabbed something, so he pulled it out of her mouth,” recalls Latimer, noting the discovery happened at about 11 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 28.
He claims the owner used a flashlight and found five other pieces scattered about 20 feet apart on the grass, and brought them to him.
He believes someone intentionally placed the poison to harm dogs.
“This is definitely for dogs,” Latimer says. “We don’t have that big of a rat problem in the first place and, second, anyone who does anything around the marina generally clears it with me or the owner.”
Sidney North Saanich RCMP were made aware of the incident on Monday just after 5 p.m.
“If this poison was left out as a method of rodent management, or on purpose to harm someone’s pet, hasn’t been determined,” says Cpl. Chris Manseau, spokesperson for the BC RCMP. “There haven’t been any reports of animals being injured or consuming poison reported to the Sidney North Saanich RCMP.”
Manseau added the officer who was at the scene could not determine if there was any malicious intent, but police are warning people who walk their dogs near the Blue Peter Marina.
Latimer says the marina does not have surveillance cameras, but he’s working on getting some installed.
"My best guess is this is some misguided retribution towards me or my dogs, or the only other thing I can think of this is some random evil person doing this," he continues.
Leslie Steeves, the founder of Reuniting Owners with Animals Missing, posted about the incident on the group's Facebook page to alert other dog owners.
“More of a warning to local people,” she says. “I live in the area, I walk my dogs there. I would want to know.”
Steeves adds whether it was to kill rats or harm dogs doesn’t matter. And that this is not the action to take.
“It’s really disturbing to think that somebody would think this is OK. This is like a shotgun scatter that will impact more than him and his dogs.”
The dog who first found the peanut butter and rat poison seems to be OK and Latimer took the objects to a veterinarian to confirm it was rat poison.
"It was really intentional. It was meant to harm… the fact of the matter is that [was] potential for big problems," says Steeves.
Anyone with information is being asked to contact RCMP at 250-656-3931.