Tainted meatballs found in SF's Richmond District

The warning to pet owners to be on the lookout for tainted meatballs is stretching to a new San Francisco neighborhood.
February 24, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
There's a new warning for pet owners in San Francisco about tainted meatballs and this time it's directed toward a new neighborhood. Poisonous meatballs were first found in the Twin Peaks neighborhood on Crestline Drive. Now more meatballs have been discovered in the Outer Richmond District around the intersection of La Playa and Cabrillo Street.

Mark Miller and his dog "Cleo" were out on Monday for an evening walk on La Playa in the Richmond District. That's where four raw meatballs were found lined up on the sidewalk Sunday night. It's not the news mark wanted to hear.

"I know some folks do not like animals, but you don't injure or kill them. Worse, as I said, young children may find them and indulge, it'd be even worse," said Miller.

San Francisco Animal Care and Control officials don't know yet if these meatballs are poisoned. They also found a large piece of raw meat nearby.

Resident Sally Fairchild says that's tempting enough for her dog. She said, "He'll stick his head in the bush and come out with a chicken bone and he'd have a meatball down in a heartbeat."

The discovery comes just days after 32 meatballs, suspected to be tainted, were found near Twin Peaks on Crestline and Parkridge. Signs warning the public can be seen everywhere. It's the same spot where hundreds of poison meatballs were found last summer, one dog died as a result at that time. Others were sickened.

Resident Linda Morales just adopted her two dogs yesterday. She said, "I think it's somebody who hates animals and it's somebody local."

Until the suspect is caught, animal officials are telling pet owners near Twin Peaks and in the Richmond to act quickly if their pet eats something.

"Stay away from shrubs. If their dog does pick something up and starts to consume it, I wouldn't waste time. I would take the dog directly to a veterinarian," said San Francisco Animal Care and Control Lt. Denise Bongiovanni.

All of the suspected meatballs have been sent to U.C. Davis for testing.

San Francisco police are asking the public for assistance in the case. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the SFPD's anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444.


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