Three dogs die after allegedly ingesting poison outside a New York City apartment building

Ralph Edwards was over the moon last summer when he brought Callie, his adorable 3-month-old Rottweiler puppy, home to Washington Heights. She quickly became a beloved member of the family.

But two weeks ago, the playful dog became very ill one morning without warning.

Edwards, the 42-year-old building manager, told The Post that she wasn’t eating, was acting lethargic, and even “looked really sad.” He took Callie to the vet, where she was put on antibiotics and underwent several tests.

“They called us again and said she was really sick and we needed to take her to the hospital,” Edwards recalled.

He took the dog to the hospital, and it quickly took a turn for the worse.

Ralph Edwards was heartbroken when he gave birth to his puppy Callie earlier this month. It is suspected that she died from rat poison.
Ralph Edwards

Kidneys and liver [had] He said.

Edwards had to make the heartbreaking decision to put down the sick dog. While vets couldn’t determine what caused the pup to become so ill—at first they thought it was the deadly bacteria, but it came back negative—it’s believed it was rat poison she ingested from the city streets.

“The only other thing he could have gone through so quickly was the poison they told me about,” Edwards said. “She was a puppy, we didn’t really bring her anywhere or go out of town or anything like that. Just walking around the neighborhood and that was about it. I just put all the pieces together.”

Kali, a young Rottweiler puppy suddenly became ill and died in Washington Heights.  Its owner suspected rat poison.
Kali, a young Rottweiler puppy, suddenly became ill and died in Washington Heights. Its owner suspected rat poison.
Ralph Edwards

Rat poison pellets of cholecalciferol—which are often spread around town to control rodent populations—are a common cause of kidney failure in dogs, according to Dr. Ann Marie Zulu, an emergency and critical care specialist at the 62nd Schwarzman Animal Medical Center. Street.

“It basically gives you an overdose of vitamin D, which can eventually lead to high calcium and kidney failure,” Zulu told The Post.

In recent days, two more dogs have died in the Washington Heights area where Callie lived and walked. Again, rat poison is the likely culprit, Edwards said. Since then, neighbors have posted leaflets around Cabrini Street warning pet owners.

“Something very sad has happened [to Cali],” he said. “Now it’s about raising awareness and that’s the neighborhoods where dog owners look out for each other.”

The property management at 140 Cabrini Boulevard is also raising awareness. An email — obtained by The Post — has been sent to residents of the building, warning them to look for “pink globules” on the ground near the building.

Neighbors in Washington Heights warn that rat poison is being planted throughout the area and killing dogs.
Neighbors in Washington Heights have been warned that rat poison is being planted throughout their area and is killing dogs.
Ralph Edwards

“Please be vigilant when walking your dog in the area, please also report this problem to dog walkers,” the note read, adding that the Sobers did not put the poison in question.

“This may be someone who has no connection with the properties doing this.”

The issue of rat poison exposure to dogs is not unique to the upper Manhattan Nabe, Zulu said.

“This is something we see with some regularity unfortunately,” Zulu told The Post. “It really can happen in any area of ​​the city. Because, as we all know, there are mice and rats all over New York City.”

The dog's owner in Washington Heights said he was likely exposed to rat poison and died soon after.
The dog’s owner in Washington Heights said he was likely exposed to rat poison and died soon after.
Ralph Edwards

She’s not kidding. Recent rodent sightings in the city are up 70% compared to the same time period two years ago — more than 21,500 swift creatures were seen by locals, up from 18,601 in 2021.

But Zulu says there is another possible reason for the high number of cases at present.

We know that more people have had pets during the pandemic. So there may be a little bit of an uptick because of that.”

A dog owner is heartbroken after his Rottweiler dog, Kali, died from suspected rat poison.
A dog owner is heartbroken after his Rottweiler dog, Kali, died from suspected rat poison.

Whatever the cause, poisonings are devastating for dog owners.

“It was heartbreaking,” Edwards said. “I’ve never had a love like this from a pet in my life.”

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