Police suspect rat traps to blame for dogs’ deaths

West Bench remains convinced someone intentionally poisoned his dogs

A West Bench resident still stands by his belief that someone poisoned his dogs, despite what RCMP say.

Sgt. Rick Dellebuur said Penticton RCMP did go to the property to do an investigation and found three older rat traps on the man’s property.

“It is unknown whether they got into that or what. It is an unfortunate situation but we weren’t able to establish whether someone had deliberately poisoned his dogs,” said Dellebuur. “The rat traps were older ones and we don’t know if they had something in them or not.”

Dellebuur added RCMP have not received any other complaints of animals being poisoned.

Last week Dan Bitor went through the devastating process of having to see two of his dogs euthanized. On April 22, he left his dogs outside within his fenced yard while he went fishing. Within 72 hours all four of his beloved pets became severely ill, coughing up blood. Bitor said the vet tests came back positive for rodenticide, or rat poison. Two of his other dogs were also poisoned but managed to pull through.

“(RCMP) are blaming it on the rat traps that the regional district put in, well those things are three-quarters buried in leaves and still are. There is no evidence of the dogs mucking around in there. I just can’t believe they blew off the whole thing by saying that. I am disappointed and it is frustrating,” said Bitor.

The dog owner said he is in the pesticide business, but it is for fruit trees, and those chemicals are stored away. He said the dogs coughed up blood and that is typical of how rodenticide attacks animals, whereas the pesticides for trees wouldn’t have caused that reaction.

“What if this happens again to me or someone else? If they had got into these traps they would have been so trampled and the grass would have been pulled away, it would have been clear evidence and there isn’t.”