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

South Island Transportation Strategy looks to reduce reliance on personal vehicles

EV charging stations, bike lockers, new park-and-ride stalls among solutions in Capital Region

New crop of hand-crafted heats popping up across Saanich

Community arts program promotes wellness, sends message of caring from people of all ages

BC Transit finishes wave of replacements with natural gas buses in Victoria

Average fleet age drops a few years with new buses added in 2020

Oak Bay couple honoured for 35 years volunteering

Mayor awards distinguished Oak Leaf to Bert and Doris Dinsmore

Meet the Liberal candidate for Oak Bay-Gordon Head

Roxanne Helme about ‘governance, not politics’

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to call a provincial election for Oct. 24?

British Columbians will put their social distancing skills to the test when… Continue reading

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Most Read