BRENTWOOD (CBS / AP) — Six dogs and a cat belonging to three families in Brentwood died Monday and Tuesday from what appears to have been poison, Contra Costa Animal Services Lt. Nancy Anderson said.
The animals, which belonged to three neighbors on Westpoint Way, began getting sick Monday afternoon, Anderson said.
“It appears that they somehow ingested some type of toxin,” Anderson said.
Animal Services investigators found what appeared to be meat in the backyards of the homes where the animals lived, Anderson said.
Animal autopsies, known as necropsies, will be performed on the animals to determine what killed them, but so far Anderson said no suspects had been identified.
One of the victims, however, wrote on his Facebook page that another neighbor might have poisoned the animals.
Leroy Moyer, with the local nonprofit organization Voices for Pets, which seeks to strengthen and enforce laws against cruelty to animals, praised animal services investigators for taking the case seriously.
“It’s a serious crime and it should be taken seriously,” Moyer said.
Moyer said he had heard that investigators did have a possible suspect and, if an arrest is made, he said he would be working to encourage the district attorney’s office to file charges.
The suspected poisonings in Brentwood came about a week after two dogs died from poisoning in Concord, Moyer said.
A 72-year-old man was arrested for allegedly poisoning his neighbors’ two dogs with strychnine-laced meatballs following complaints about barking.
Concord Police say Earl Ansley was booked on animal cruelty charges and released pending further investigation.
Moyer said he did not believe the two cases were related.
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