The New Castle Police Department is alerting Castle Valley Ranch subdivision residents to be on the lookout for suspicious behavior or edible substances in the wake of recent pet poisoning reports.
A statement released by the department late Monday indicates it received a report of animal poisoning on Feb. 25.
“Several animals reportedly have become ill, with one cat and one dog expiring,” the statement says. “At this time, the exact cause of the illness is unknown; however, [it] may be related to the intentional contamination of food items with a substance toxic to animals.”
When contacted Tuesday, a police department spokesperson said no further information can be released because it concerns an ongoing investigation.
Allison Jorgensen, who lives in Castle Valley Ranch, said she had to put her cat down a couple of weeks ago. She suspects it was poisoned.
When it warmed up outside on a Friday in mid-February, she said she let her cat out.
“By Sunday, she was so sick,” she said, explaining that she stayed up with the cat all night and took it to the vet on Monday.
Three days and $700 later, Jorgensen said, “We decided to put her down.”
A few days later, some neighbors had to put their dog down, again from suspected poisoning, she said. Then another neighbor found a fresh square of cream cheese in her yard and turned it in to police for testing, Jorgensen said, adding that the cheese was found on a property adjacent to a day care center.
“That is really scary,” she said.
Word began to circulate that other pets were getting sick as well, Jorgensen said.
“It took a while for us to get together,” but there were too many similarities for it to be coincidental, she said.
Posts on Facebook say people have found what they suspect to be poisoned bones, but there is no official confirmation of that.
When contacted by phone, several area veterinarians had no knowledge of recent poisonings.
“Home and pet owners are encouraged to check their properties for any foreign or suspicious substance or unknown edible food or animal treat-like item,” the police department statement says, “and report to the police immediately” if anything is found.
The New Castle Police Department can be reached at 970-984-2302.