By Matt Naber
A reward for information is offered as federal, state and local agencies continue to investigate the fatal poisoning of animals in the Timber Creek area west of Meeteetse.
The Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory confirmed the chemical used to poison wild and domestic animals was aldicarb, an insecticide known to be highly toxic to mammals, according to a news release from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.
The poisonings, which took place during the week of March 29 to April 4, are being investigated by the BLM, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wyoming Game and Fish Department and the Park County Sheriff’s Office.
The BLM is offering a reward of up to $2,000, and local pet owners impacted by the poisoning upped the ante to a total of $6,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or people involved in poisoning the animals, said Powell resident Julie Thomas.
“We are just trying to get people to help us solve this crime,” Thomas said.
Three locally owned dogs, a coyote, a skunk, a raccoon and possibly several other animals died due to what appears to be an act of intentional poisoning, the release said.
Aldicarb is sold under the trade name Temik. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency classified aldicarb in the highest toxicity category and has defined strict controls for its delivery and use.
Those recreating in the Timber Creek area should use caution and keep pets under close control. If animal carcasses are located, do not touch them. Report their location immediately to the sheriff’s office or call the STOP POACHING hotline. The substance used may be transferred by touch and is extremely harmful, the release said.
Anyone with information about this crime is urged to call the STOP POACHING hotline at 1-877-WGFD-TIP (1-877-943-3847) or BLM Ranger Ian Canaan at 899-6561.
Tips from an expert
Pet owners should keep their pets inside their vehicles while saddling their horses or preparing for a hike until they are ready to keep a close watch and make sure nothing questionable is eaten, said Gould Veterinary Clinic’s veterinary assistant Shawna Hicks.
“I don’t think a human would have seen these little chunks of meat; it is very lethal, and these little chunks could be no bigger than a sausage patty,” Hicks said. “It won’t be visible to a human.”
But a dog’s nose will easily detect the meat, and the dog will do what comes naturally: Eat it before it can be taken away.
If a dog is suspected to have ingested Temik, Hicks urges pet owners to make the dog throw up immediately. She said one of her clients was able to do this with soda since the foaming action will induce vomiting.
She also cautioned pet owners to wash their hands immediately since Temik can be harmful to humans, even with just skin contact. The vomit needs to be bagged for examination too.
If a dog appears to have been poisoned, bring it to a veterinary clinic as soon as possible.
“I’m hoping we saw the end of it, since we haven’t had any more incidents of it — but people should be cautious until the person is caught,” Hicks said. “If anyone knows anything, please call the hotline because this was a horrible thing, and they need to be caught.”