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.”

Just Posted

Police continue to investigate machete attack

Police have canvassed nearly 200 businesses for video surveillance of the recent… Continue reading

Cricket players get interrupted by racist remark in Courtenay

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Courtenay woman desperately searches for missing dog

Anyone who owns a dog will understand the anguish of a Courtenay… Continue reading

Valley chef Ronald St. Pierre to be inducted into BC Restaurant Hall of Fame

A Comox Valley chef will soon join other culinary legions in the… Continue reading

YANA Ride in Comox raises thousands for families with medical needs

In its seventh year, the event attracted the maximum 600 riders on Sunday

VIDEO: Could we BE any more excited? ‘Friends’ fans go crazy for merch

Movie theatres will show select episodes to mark the NBC series’ 25th anniversary

Vancouver Island RCMP hunt for man after pair of indecent exposure incidents

Elderly Qualicum Beach woman grabbed by man who had been masturbating in the woods

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Pile of wood mulch ‘spontaneously combusts’ at Vancouver Island industrial site

Business owner thanks fire department for quick response

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

Groovy B.C. wedding a throwback to Woodstock ‘69

Couple hosts themed wedding 50 years after legendary festival

Nearly 50% of Canadians experience ‘post-vacation blues’: poll

48 per cent of travellers are already stressed about ‘normal life’ while still on their trip

Vancouver Island senior found safe with help from six search and rescue teams

Wayne Strilesky found safe in thick brush in north Nanaimo

Most Read