Well, sort of. I didn’t win the lottery or get a job as a radio DJ, I was interviewed by two TV stations because I found dog food mixed with tylenol, advil and metronidazole this past week. Nice, huh. About 75 tablets sprinkled with dog food, found in the parking lot of the apartments behind my condo building. Can I just say, WHAT? What sadistic person would do this? Unfortunately, lots of people would do this. The sadder part is, he or she is probably a close neighbor. See videos and articles here for 11Alive and here for CBS Atlanta.
We don’t have a huge stray animal problem in my hood, mainly because I pick up the stray dogs (have only seen and rescued 2 in the 3 years I have lived in Atlanta) and I have all the feral cats spayed and neutered to keep the stray population down. So I don’t believe it’s an issue of someone “fed up with the strays.” However, with that being said, I do believe someone has been inhumanely trapping animals in my hood over the last 6 or 8 months.
I started to suspect something when a couple of faithful ferals disappeared. Feral cats, especially when spayed and neutered, don’t typically travel far from their food source. And I am their food source. Sure there is a possibility of something else happening to them, like a car or another animal attack, but when they started to disappear one by one, it was just too coincidental. Then I started to see a significant increase in “lost pet” flyers around my hood, mostly cats, but a few small dogs. My ferals continued to disappear. I went from 7, down to 3 in a matter of a few short months. Then my “favorite” feral disappeared. Rima, who, for the last 3 years, would nap on my porch and sniff my hand when I would go out to give her some wet food, also disappeared. I was heartbroken.
Thankfully, Rima appeared about a month later – but with a leg injury indicative of being inhumanely trapped. It was then that I knew for sure that my ferals weren’t randomly disappearing, there was a reason – a person – behind their disappearance. A leg amputation and $1,000 later for a feral named Rima, she has a happy ending. But most ferals and strays don’t. (Read Rima’s full story here).
So when I discovered the pile of pills sprinkled with dog food while I was walking my oldest pup, I knew it was time to warn the community.
Who would do something like this – and even more disturbing, who in my NEIGHBORHOOD would do this?? Within hours of sending an email out to different rescue folks and the Virginia Highland Safety Team, I had been contacted not only by dozens of concerned neighbors wanting more information, but I was also contacted by 2 different local television stations for an interview. What I discovered in the parking lot of a crappy apartment complex had evoked alarm and horror from people throughout my entire neighborhood – and beyond.
Is this sick-o the same sick-o that has been trapping my ferals?? Or is there more than 1 sick-o in my hood? Both possibilities make the hair on the back of my neck stand up.