Poisoned Meatballs Kill Several Dogs at Canicross Race Event in France


Poisoned meatballs have led to the deaths of four dogs at a dog racing event in southern France. Reports indicate the canines ate the tainted food provided by an unknown perpetrator during the cross-country competition.

Local authorities have postponed the event, with the police launching an investigation into the incident, including a search for the suspect behind the dog deaths.

Dead Dogs at Race Event

Dog Racing Event

(Photo : MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)

Three dogs experienced convulsion and vomiting within 15 minutes after eating the poisoned meatballs, The New York Times reported. Authorities believe the perpetrator snuck in during the Canicross cross-country racing event in the town of Vauvert (near Montpellier) on March 12. The event involves dogs that are attached to their owners, who are either cycling or running with their pets.

Authorities cancelled the event and cordoned off the site immediately after the dogs died from the poison-laced meatballs. A search at the venue found more than 50 meatballs, which has enough poison to kill a dog instantly.

By March 14, several dog owners continued to walk the route of the closed site, despite warnings from local officials to avoid the area, according to France 3, as cited by Independent. As a result, the number of dead dogs has increased to four after another dog died, with two more other canines being poisoned but survived.

The Canicross race last weekend was supposedly meant as a qualifying round for the German world championships, which was scheduled to take place in October. The sport is mainly about the dog running in front of his owner, which serve as a guide from behind by using verbal cues. There are also instances where the dog changes position relative to its human teammate.

Also Read: Poison Intended for Rat Infestation Kills Three Dogs Instead on New York City Streets

Poisoned Meatballs

An investigation into the incident revealed the person responsible for the poisoned meatballs could be wearing gloves to hide his or her fingerprints, the Insider reported. The move could make identification of the suspect even harder, as seen from other cases.

The distribution of the tainted meatballs was around the cross-country race event’s trail. The New York Times reported that the tragedy occurred in the early morning. As soon as the race was about to start, the said dogs suddenly exhibited the mentioned food poisoning symptoms and died within 15 minutes.

The dogs were suffocating with all the “foam and everything,” according to Berengere Poleteti, a veterinarian at the Federation of Canine Sports and Leisure and the one who organized the Canicross race event, who told the Times, as cited by Insider.

Food Poisoning in Dogs

Just like humans, dogs can also be victims of food poisoning, characterized as an illness involving gastrointestinal upset due to bacteria or toxins within the food, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC).

The degree or severity of food poisoning among dogs vary in the type of bacteria or chemical present in the food. However, the AKC highlights that the common food poisoning symptoms are diarrhea, vomiting, and lethargy. Other symptoms seen in dogs include fever and loss of appetite.

Aside from poisoned meatballs, other types of food can also be transformed into a deadly dish, which are proven to be fatal for dogs.

Related Article: 300 Stray Dogs Found Dead from Poisoning in Southern India

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