On Friday, July 7, a dog owner in Alexandria, Virginia, was walking their pooch through the intersection of Duke and Ingram Streets. Much to their dismay, they found a piece of sausage skewered with a fish hook on the ground. Animal welfare activists in the area believe the meat was bait meant to endanger local dogs.
Sausages embedded with hooks meant to cause harm
According to a local community news outlet, The Zebra Press, the dog owner spotted the dangerous sausage around 9:30 a.m. Approximately 20 minutes later, a staff member from Alexandria’s animal services department arrived. The officer “found a total of nine pieces of sausage with hooks embedded in them.” All of the meat lures were located in the area surrounding Duke and Ingram Streets.
WUSA9 reports animal service officers from the city returned to the intersection on Saturday. The staff members searched the vicinity to ensure no additional sausages with fish hooks were left on the ground overnight.
The City of Alexandria is also encouraging residents to review personal security camera footage. Both the City and Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA) staff hope someone in the neighborhood can provide a lead for investigators.
A $5,000 reward for finding fish hook fugitive
This weekend, AWLA announced it would offer a reward in the amount of $5,000. Anyone who could provide information which leads to the arrest of the perpetrator(s) is eligible. The Zebra reported that Erin Shackelford, AWLA’s Marketing and Communications Specialist, issued comment on the organization’s choice to offer the reward.
Shackelford said, “Thanks to a member of the community who has pledged the reward funds, we are able to offer this incentive.” Shackelford made clear why AWLA was committed to catching the person or people responsible, adding, “We believe the person was deliberately trying to hurt dogs.”
In an updated report, WUSA9 shared that no dogs had been injured as of their broadcast.
Anyone with knowledge surrounding this heinous act is asked to contact the animal services office. Members of the public may call 703-746-6000 or email [email protected] with information.
Dogs, sausage, and other dangers
While the culprit in this case seemingly intended to use the sausage as a lure, dogs really should not be consuming sausage at all. Sausage meat is very high in sodium and fat. Moreover, it typically contains ingredients — such as garlic and onions — which are dangerous for dogs to ingest.
Pet owners often do everything in their power to protect canine companions from harm. Unfortunately, some dangers are out of their control. Earlier this year, a Himalayan Sheepdog Poodle Mix consumed tainted human waste at a local park in San Francisco. The fecal matter ingested by the pup was contaminated with marijuana and opioids. In May, three Labrador Retrievers were poisoned by the neighbors of a couple in Wake County, North Carolina.
Keeping your dog safe
Stay vigilant when walking your pooch. Distracted dog walking not only puts you at risk of injury, but it also makes you less likely to spot any dangers your dog could encounter. If the dog owner in Alexandria hadn’t been paying attention, their pet may have consumed the dangerous sausage skewered with a fish hook.
For the few minutes you’re outside, put down the phone and focus on fido. Be sure to check out our safety tips for walking your dog. And, do what you can to guarantee everyone has a good experience on your next trot around the neighborhood.