Four dog deaths investigated in Cranbrook

One vet suggests a parallel to these deaths and similar ones in 2016

  • Dec. 14, 2017 3:30 p.m.

The RCMP, along with local veterinarians, are investigating how four dogs died after walking in the Cranbook Community Forest.

Earlier this week, the Steeples Veterinary Clinic and the Cranbrook Veterinary Hospital posted to social media, telling people to avoid walking their dogs in the area after many of the pets had become suddenly, and in some cases fatally, ill.

Steeples hospital manager Andrew Skaien confirmed they have opened up a case with the RCMP and that they are talking to toxicologists around North America to try to determine what to do next.

“It affects us,” said Skaien. “We see that sort of thing and we too, like everybody else, wonders if it is malicious. We still don’t know if it’s accidental or malicious, right? So in our mind right now we’re thinking, ‘What’s going on?’”

READ MORE: Concerns raised by Cranbrook veterinarians following fatally ill dogs

Cranbrook RCMP declined to comment, only saying they are talking with the vets, the Regional District of East Kootenay and the Community Forest Association.

Skaien said there are parallels between these dogs’ deaths and what happened October 2016, when two dogs died after ingesting a white, fatty substance in the Community Forest.

“You can’t help but draw that conclusion, but what happened last year went to the RCMP as well, and a lot of stuff came back inconclusive,” Skaien said. “So I can’t sit here and say for sure, but I mean, same area, same symptoms that sort of thing.”

Haley Walker-Opperman, whose Scotch Collie lab died last year from ingesting that white substance, commented on Steeples’ Facebook post that a Crime Stoppers reward system for information on the matter, will be carried forward in light of recent events.

READ MORE: Dog deaths blamed on chemical poison (2016)

Steve Mercandelli’s chocolate lab, Yaya, is one of the four dogs that have recently died.

“The vet there was fantastic. She contacted me right away [and] told me that there has been related deaths and now they’re going to be further research,” Mercandelli said. “They were taking some results lab test from my dog and sent it away to a toxicology.”

He said he’d been biking with Yaya at the time, and he happens to map his routes on his phone. He said that information, along with logged routes from another person whose dog died after being in the forest, has been sent to RCMP.

Skaien reiterated the importance of remaining cautious when in the Community Forest.

“We haven’t had any cases since, which is awesome,” he said. “But that area right now, we’re looking at the south end of Community Forest, seems to be where they are located.

“If there’s anything suspicious out there like chunks of meat, elk or deer carcasses, or any sort of suspicious substance, definitely leave it alone. Mark it, call us or the RCMP, and make sure that information gets in the right hands.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Vehicle crashes through carport in West Kelowna

The driver has been taken to hospital with minor injuries

PHOTOS: Okanagan residents capture epic lightning show

A look at some of the best shots of the storm on May 30

Big White Ski Resort to offer rebate for pass holders after early closure

Next year’s pass will include a 20 per cent rebate

Rain in Sunday forecast for Okanagan-Shuswap

Environment Canada calling for 15-20 millimetres in regions

Arena served Summerland for 26 years

Warm winters meant short ice seasons in early 1950s

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

‘No tick is a good tick’: Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation

The foundation’s president said all ticks that attach to humans and pets can carry various diseases

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Most Read