Pet Lover Warns of Rat Poison in Georgetown

By Anne Reynolds
|  Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010  |  Updated 2:50 PM EDT
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Rat poison pellets are not just dangerous for rodents, they can also a hazard for pets and small children.

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A Georgetown shop owner is warning pet owners of a potential danger she discovered in the neighborhood: Someone has been dumping rat poison in the area.

Jane Huelle runs The Dog Shop on Wisconsin Avenue. Saturday morning, she discovered neon green rat poison pellets on the sidewalk and outside her business. Those pellets also turned up at neighboring businesses, and while they are meant to take care of rodent problems, they can be very harmful—even deadly—to dogs and cats.

Huelle said she knows of three dogs that have died from rat poisoning in northwest Washington this year alone. While she is very concerned about the danger the pellets pose to pets in the area, she doubts anyone is intentionally trying to do harm.

“I honestly think it’s someone who thinks they are doing a good thing, not realizing how lethal this is to domestic animals, children, runoff into the river,” Huelle told News4.

It is illegal to spread rat poison pellets. Complaints have been filed with the Metropolitan Police Department and the Georgetown BID also has weighed in:

"It seems that some individual(s) took abatement measures into their own hand(s) in the form of spreading pesticide pellets in and around public spaces and private property. This isn't the way to resolve the issue. This kind of behavior is illegal, as the use of pesticides in public space is regulated by law. It is dangerous, as it puts our children and pets at risk of coming into direct contact with pesticide products. Improperly used, pesticides kill... people and pets. Moreover, these products, haphazardly spread about, end up in the sewer and ultimately in the Potomac. These actions will not be tolerated."

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