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San Francisco Dog Sickened By Poisoned Meatballs Dies

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Meatballs laced with rat poison which were found in in the area of Crestline, Burnett and Parkridge Drives in San Francisco. (San Francisco Police)

Meatballs laced with rat poison which were found in in the area of Crestline, Burnett
and Parkridge Drives in San Francisco. (San Francisco Police)

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Oskar, one of the dogs who recently consumed poisoned meatballs left on the streets in the hills of San Francisco, has died.

The dachshund died Friday after being in a medically-induced coma since eating the meatball on July 3, according to a spokeswoman for the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

Oskar’s death spurred that organization to offer a $1,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest in the case, said spokeswoman Megan Backus.

San Francisco police have been following up on tips for nearly two weeks about the dozens of poisoned meatballs residents eventually discovered in Twin Peaks and Diamond Heights.

Oskar appears to be the only animal who died from the toxic meat. Veterinarians initially believed he would survive, as did another dog also taken to the emergency room that day because of the poisoned meatballs.

Investigators have cautioned pet owners to be very aware of what their animals consume when outdoors, since they cannot be certain that all the poisoned meatballs have been recovered.

Police are also warning that the tainted meatballs contain levels of strychnine potentially lethal to humans.

Anyone who encounters the meatballs is advised to call 911 and only to handle them if absolutely necessary and with heavy gloves as the poison can be absorbed through the skin, police said.

The meatballs have apparently been deliberately placed in spots where dogs defecate in the area of Crestline, Burnett and Parkridge drives, according to police.

Campbell said that if a dog is believed to have eaten the meatballs the animal should be immediately taken to a veterinarian. San Francisco Veterinary Services, Pets Unlimited and All Pets offer 24-hour vet service, San Francisco Animal Care & Control spokeswoman Deb Campbell said.

She said that reports of the meatballs being found elsewhere in the city—including Noe Valley and Dolores Park—are unsubstantiated rumors.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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