Oro Valley family grieving loss of dog after deadly pesticide sp - Tucson News Now

Oro Valley family grieving loss of dog after deadly pesticide sprayed in wash

(Source: Tucson News Now) (Source: Tucson News Now)
ORO VALLEY, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The Arizona Department of Game and Fish is offering a reward up to $500 for information that leads to the arrest of whomever is responsible for poisoning wildlife in Oro Valley.

According to a news release, two javelinas and an owl were found dead in the Canada de Oro Wash, and authorities suspect pesticide is the culprit.

Two dogs in the area also became sick recently. One dog died, and the other one is recovering.

"It's hard to be unemotional about this," said Zach May, the owner of the two dogs, Millie and Olive. 

May said he and the dogs walk in the wash between three to five days a week. 

May said he and the dogs were walking in the wash Tuesday morning, June 13, when he saw the dead owl and javelinas. He reported the find to Game and Fish. 

Soon after their walk, May said one of the dogs got sick. 

"My wife called me and had told me that Millie, our younger dog was having seizures," May said. 

They rushed Millie to the vet. Not long after, 6-year-old Olive started to act strange, too. 

"We took her right down to the vet also, and our Olive passed away about two hours later," May said. 

"I don't think anybody did this intentionally. I think it's more apt to be somebody who just doesn't know how to use poison correctly," May said. 

Millie is back to normal now, but May hopes his story helps others realize the big impact improper use can have on wildlife and dogs like Olive. 

"They were a part of the family, they participated in almost everything that we do. We never take trips without the dogs, so it's been really hard on us to lose her," May said. 

Raul Vega, regional supervisor of Game and Fish in Tucson, said, “if you are using pesticides, you may only legally do so on your own property, and in a way that doesn’t put wildlife at risk. While the apparent poisonings of the pets and wildlife may be inadvertent, we are investigating this as a possible criminal violation nonetheless.”

The department offered the following guidelines for pest control:

  • Only use anticoagulant baits sparingly to target the pest and avoid poisoning non-target wildlife.
  • Place bait indoors or very close to structures, and in approved bait stations to avoid the potential of wildlife consuming contaminated pests.
  • Have a plan for the safe, prompt collection and disposal of contaminated pest carcasses. Daily monitoring of the treated area to remove and safely dispose of dead animals will reduce the likelihood of secondary poisoning.

Anyone with information about this case should contact Operation Game Thief at 1-800-352-0700. The line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and callers can remain anonymous. Callers should reference OGT#17-001961. 

You can also submit information online by clicking here.

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