A warning for North End dog owners

North End Deals reports:

A dog owner just told me he noticed blue rat poison at small park on Charter St., North End, Boston. WTF. As a dog owner I am BS!!

Emily Fraser reports:

My co-worker's dog ate blue rat poison at that park Friday and, thank God, survived.

Valerie Collanton adds the same thing happened at the park last year.



    Free tagging: 


    North End Rat Poison

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    The right of citizens to live Rat Free, well, in a controlled rat situation, trumps your dog's right to Run Free. If the dog is on a leash, rat poison is not a danger.


    Yeah mutt owner entitlement

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    .. can be a handful but you are still supposed to deploy that stuff in the directed manner in rat boxes.

    And idiots who spread it around like its rock salt cause legislative meddle impulses which, in turn, make it even more of a handful to get and deploy correctly.

    That, along with inept poison.spreading as a general hazard to non targeted things that don't need a leash including cats and kids.

    With considerable running freedom for Rattus Rattus being the main outcome.


    That is 100% not true

    Perhaps in this situation the rat poison is somewhere off the sidewalk where a dog on leash could not reach it, but often times its within reach of a dog on leash and since it's made to attract mice so they'll eat it, it interests a dog too. All is well and fine if your dog is well trained not to touch anything on the ground, but puppies or others who need a bit more training to learn not to touch something are at risk. Or if a dog walks through it and gets it on their paws then licks them later... Obviously, the owners should be diligent and watch out for any suspicious looking things and keep their dogs paws clean after each walk.


    Exactly, and besides.

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    there are very detailed instructions and laws regarding rat poison placement. The blue stuff was off the shelves for reformulation because of idiot stunts like this.

    Urban rat ecology is fascinating. As a building super in Cambridge with slovenly restaurants and a 7/11 dumpster nearby I am supposed to do my part to keep the rats to a dull roar.

    Much of it involves 'area denial' where you reduce safe and easy runway options and force them to be as exposed and vulnerable as possible.

    Be alert to burrow and den formation. The Inman colony has bomb proof bunkers under an S and S parking lot a short scurry from the ever filthy 7/11 trash tub.

    So I periodically flush straight bleach down the holes before back filling them with quicklime and broken glass topped by dirt.

    And you then deploy the required rat boxes in what might be the 'safe areas' to a rat and wait til the things are mundane as rats fear new stuff in their worlds.

    I taught the Cambridge rat inspectors a useful trick... watch the Seagulls as they indicate rat attraction spots given similar forage preferences.


    Even good dogs get tempted

    My dog is generally well-behaved and "leave it" is usually her best command. But she has arthritis flare ups that necessitate a course of steroids every once in a while and they make her ravenously hungry and prone to weight gain - which puts more strain on her back and needs to be avoided. So for the two weeks that she's on the steroids, she's desperately looking for anything that MIGHT be food. I try to be as vigilant as possible, but I could see her grabbing a piece of something bright in the grass before I spot it to guide her away.

    On a side note, I think I'll stick to concrete paths for now if some psycho is randomly targeting dogs. Assholes.

    Rat Free is a right?

    Where is that right written? (say that 3 times fast....)

    Tell your neighbors to stop feeding the rats by putting the trash out the night before. No food = no rats.


    Of course not...

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    It's a miserable and ridiculous urban chore that resembles shoveling shit against the tide.

    The best outcome is reduction and they go bother some other slob.

    Well that doesnt always work

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    My new neighbors came from a foreign country and despite many attempts on my part, they don't speak English. So I have to report their open trash containers to the city. I don't know if the city did or did not investigate or communicate with these people, but their trash is still overflowing and not covered and I keep calling the city.


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    I have a dog who is incredibly opportunistic and thinks she will never be fed again! She, the drama queen, is fed like the queen she is. I can often stop her from grabbing errant chicken bones, but occasionally she gets street food/people's tossings. She's a 13 year old, single minded Basenji. I do my best to keep her away from teh bad stuffs.

    Keep in mind, if it's within reach of dogs, it's within reach of children. THINK OF THE CHILDRENS! They trump the North End's "right to live rat free". Besides, you can't get rid of rats, you can only control them.



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    This is my dog too. He's a rescue from an unknown background but he has it in his head that you do NOT pass up a meal, EVER, even if it is a stray Cheeto, a piece of stale bagel, or yes--the countless chicken bones that he finds on the sidewalk. Thank goodness we've never encountered any dead rats or poison, but there is ZERO excuse for putting out poison where a pet or a child could access it.


    So ABBQ and Sally

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    The fact that you cant control your dog shoud be someone else's problem? I don't think so.

    The fact that you think scattering poison out in public

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    is OK ISNT a problem?

    Seriously. Get over whatever psycho animal hatred you have and deal with reality. Either we're dealing with someone who's completely unhinged or who's criminally negligent. By your logic, it's OK to scatter broken glass or poison crystals on every sidewalk because hey--if a child or a pet accidentally walks on or touches them, it's clearly the negligent parents' fault. Amirite?



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    My point, Sally, if you can get past your need to call me a pycho animal hater, is that 2 posters claimed that the poison was a problem because they couldn't control their dogs need to munch on everything in their path. So my suggestion is that they control their dog. You have no idea how the rat poison got there. There's lots of ways stuff get on the ground .

    Control your dog, control your kid too if they think its ok to pick stuff up off the ground and eat it

    If a kid picked up dog shit from the ground and ate it, who would be at fault?, the kid, the kid's parents, the dog, the dog's owner, or me? Or maybe you.

    Late to respond

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    But still.

    I think my point was no animal or child can ever be completely 'controlled'. Despite training and care. Both have instincts that can't ever be fully overcome. Even the most well behaved / trained dog has basic instincts that just take over. Witness the numerous incidents of dog bite by the family golden retriever.

    If poison is being put out in the urban world, care must be taken to reduce poisoning the wrong beings.

    Poison is a very bad option

    It doesn't just kill rats, but also the animals that kill and eat rats - like hawks and cats.

    Counterproductive to say the least.

    If you REALLY want to life rat free? Start lobbying for communal compactors so people don't have to leave trash out 3x a week. Or, at least communal dumpsters ala Europe (aka that place with similar built environment). You can then put rat poison IN the dumpsters and not kill off all the predators and endanger your neighbors.


    Exactly, you have to think it through

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    very carefully.

    As someone who likes cats and hawks, I dread dosing either. I don't even want squirrels caught in the crossfire.

    The boxes are key as they are designed to deny entry to things larger than a rat. And their placement is also important.

    My building trash goes in a locked metal lined shed.

    The only times I ever use rat cubes outside of purpose built rat boxes is when I toss some down a burrow hole or other place unique to rats like under the front building landing where they gnaw entrances.

    And then I block those entrances.


    Sometimes Poison Is The Only Option That Works

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    My small and quiet neighborhood has trash pickup just once a week. The city requires everyone to use "rat proof" containers and bags, but not everyone does, or else they just don't work. Although I put all of my garbage in a tightly covered steel can (affectionately named Danielle), my neighbors do not.

    Last year, I had a very noisy invasion of rodents inside the walls and ceiling of my tiny house. Fortunately, they never came through to my living space, but the loud noises they made at night were terrible! I found the places where they were getting in, but when I sealed it up, they'd just dig a new hole someplace else. The only way to get rid of them was to use poison.

    Rather than putting poison out recklessly, I purchased a proper bait box that locks closed and prevents access by other animals. It took about a week, but finally the horrible noises stopped. It took a while longer for the subsequent odors to dissipate, but I was so thankful to have them gone!

    Since then, they still keep trying to come back (my cat, Henry, always hears them before I do) but when I put the bait box back out again, it stops again. The rodents are relentless though; no matter how many times I seal the openings, put up screened barriers, or try to dissuade them with moth balls, etc., they just keep coming back. The only thing that keeps them in control is poison.

    Of course, I was concerned about possible danger to other animals. I wish I didn't even have to kill the rodents, but they were damaging my home and waking me up at night. Not eradicating them from their nesting places in my house would also be irresponsible towards my neighbors; it had to be done.

    Fortunately, my island neighborhood doesn't any feral cats (well, I guess it's fortunate for the rats too!). The few cats I've seen roaming the streets appear to be owned by someone and well fed, such that a potentially poisoned mouse wouldn't become a major meal. (Cats I've known usually just enjoyed playing with a mouse to death, and then presenting it to their owner mostly intact.) Personally, I don't think it's a good idea to let any cat loose outdoors; there are so many other dangers that can befall them!

    Many people walk their dogs through the neighborhood, but they are all very responsible, keeping their dogs on a leash and off of other people's property. Furthermore, we're surrounded by vast areas of marshland with natural populations of food for natural predator animals; they're not going to come in here and eat a rat running between houses. So, at least in my case, there didn't seem to be much chance of endangering anything other than the specifically targeted invasive species.

    You can be sure, I did plenty of research about rat poison; the different kinds, how it works, what to expect, and how to use it safely. If someone is just putting it out openly in a public area, that is very irresponsible! If used as directed however, sometimes poison is the only option that works. If anyone has other suggestions that would work for me, I'd be very happy to hear them.


    Proper versus improper poison use

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    proper: small amounts, targeted, in appropriate delivery container

    improper: dropping large quantities around indiscriminately and claiming that it is *only* about the rats.


    My favorite counter arguement for any anti-dog rhetoric

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    Same could be said for toddlers. Does the right to live in a rat-free city also trump your right to have a toddler with you... one who is prone to grabbing things off the ground and putting it in their mouths?

    It is a similar problem structure.

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    Neither toddlers nor dogs can very well be expected to figure this stuff out so the problems generally arise from goon dog owners or goon parents.

    What kind of idiot lets a toddler roam around filthy urban situations when they are still in the stick things in their mouth stage?

    And with humans you might end up with some flailing sociopath yuppie beater or something once the toddler moves from pacifiers to Pabst.



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    Ummm... that's precisely the point I was making :p

    Why am I not surprised...

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    ...That the vocal dog-loathing minority always makes itself heard when protecting our pets even hypothetically infringes on some vague "right" they think they should have.

    Dogs have been domesticated and integral parts of community life for at least 10,000 years, and There are dozens of medical studies showing that pet ownership has concrete health benefits for people of various ages and health conditions.

    So give the pet grudge thing a rest, and excuse the many of us who find it alarming that in addition to spending hundreds of dollars a month on caring for our beloved pets, we now have to be wary that there is just rogue poison (which kills pet dogs every day) lying around in our parks.


    It's a strange phenomenon..

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    As I work my way through 200 miles of Bay Circuit Trail, a significant number of nature preserves and similar things have signage regarding dog handling..

    I could make an entire photo album of the things found from Duxbury to Newbury.

    It isn't the pooches fault and grudges really should be directed at the owners of the things who can be among the most insufferable and entitled outdoor use constituent types you'll find.

    In many cases there are nearby parcels with fewer restrictions but there is some strange breast beating some dog owners do about free blah blah blah.

    It's like dealing with teabaggers without politics and cheap tricorns.

    The pooch is unlikely to care as being out is the main attraction and they are generally earnest and eager to help.

    It seems to be a boomer generation thing although the various younger cohorts readily embrace canid exceptionalism.

    Urban pooch ownership and walking shouldn't be as much of an issue. As long as the owner scoops the crap, we're good to go.

    Mutt mentors have other strange habits like yapping at the dog while tooling through the woods.

    I wonder what dogs make of the syrupy human baby talk directed their way as they are very smart?


    So Badwolf

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    Do you have any data or facts or studies to back up your claim that dog loathers are a minority? I didn't think so. So I assert that dog loathers are a majority, since I have nothing to back up what I am saying.

    Thanks for bringing some facts to the discussion

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    However, just because a household has a dog, doesn't mean that that there aren't dog loathers in the house. Dog owners, breeders, pet stores, organizers of dog fights, all too often mistreat or abuse dogs and provide the Humane Society with reasons for its existence. Did Michael Vick love dogs or hate dogs? Unfortunately, he and many others like him are part of your 47 percent of households.

    So, sadly, I conclude that many dog owners actually are dog loathers.

    I don't know that I'd

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    I don't know that I'd characterize them as loathers. You can love someone or some creature and still mistreat and abuse them. Just makes you bad at it, and probably an asshole.

    Kill rats any way possible. If a dog dies, its the owners fault

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    Sorry all you dog lovers, who will now attack me like I am the devil. In certain parts of the city, killing rats any way possible is a necessary evil. I really don't care if a few unleashed dogs die or get sick. And why is it that dog owners think the leash laws don't apply in city parks?

    Keep your dog on a leash and pay attention to your dog when you take it to shit and piss on our city streets, front yards, and parks. But even the so called "responsible" dog owners will usually find a way to take off the leash at some point during the shit and piss stroll so the dog can "stretch its legs", especially in parks where somehow the dog owners think the laws don't apply to them. It is the extremely rare dog owner that keeps his dog on the leash all the time. And even though I see some dog owners using the shit bag, I also find a lot of shit on the sidewalks in my neighborhood. And no one seems to care about the damage to trees and grass caused by dog piss. It's not the same as water folks.

    I do think we should use recommended poison protocol to prevent deaths to birds and other wild animals that may try to eat the bait or eat a poisoned rat, but I have no sympathy for the dog owners who take their dog off the leash, and from my daily observations, that is most of them.


    Sorry but

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    If it walks like a psycho and talks like a psycho, I'm calling it a psycho. You're a f'ing nutcase. Seek help.


    So Sally

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    What did I say that was incorrect or psychopathic? Just wondering.

    Now we're getting somewhere

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    So Sally, you agree I didn't say anything incorrect. We're making progress. The comment about dogs dying was not "tucked in", it was my subject heading. I knew you dog lovers would attack me, but if killing rats causes a few dead dogs, I'm all for it. Apparently you like rats. I don't.

    And none of us knows how the rat poison got in the park. Poison sometimes gets dragged out of the bait boxes by rats. But as I and others have said in this discussion, if you keep your dog on a leash, it wont be a problem and your dog wont die or get sick. If any dog did get sick from eating poison in the park, you and I both know they were not on a leash. So if a dog got sick or died, it's not my fault for saying things you don't like, its the owners fault.

    I dont understand either

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    First , why do dog owners think its ok to violate the leash law, especially in parks.
    Second , even if your dog is on a leash, if if feels the need to eat everything it sees, then maybe a city isn't the right place for a dog. Or maybe you should just tug on the leash when your dog starts to munch on random trash.

    Third, if the dog is controlling you instead of the other way around, maybe you shouldnt have a dog

    The conflict is a handful.

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    As I mentioned, I have been impressed in visits to public open spaces by the near universal effort to get pooch patrol proponents to follow the rules.

    They are easily the most exceptionalist critters around in a nation of people falling over themselves to assert their exceptional-ness 24/7.

    They have irrational, very emotional mystique notions about the impositions of leashes.

    And when blended with pervasive self absorption and endemic narcissism you get some unusually noxious and shrill souls.

    If you even have the temerity to suggest that poochie is supposed to be on a leash a shitfit is highly likely.

    One of the more awful asshole dog owner stunts I observed was at a Wildlife Management Area in Dover New Hampshire where they are trying to restore a hurting New England Cottontail population and it is urgent to keep mutts tethered. And The State owns that property and does have a right to determine what one does on it.

    But nooo, asshole dog owners would ignore it.

    They are generally oblivious to things like nesting ground birds and all manner of elements a preserve owner may specify.

    And yet, it is very easy to look up nearby places where they can do their Lassie fantasies to their hearts content.

    They are just too vapid and self absorbed to look that stuff up.

    Remember, we are discussing people who engage in slobbering baby talk with the hapless animal they own that may well be more astute than they are.

    Of course it is criminal and psycho to about toss rat poison around.

    Mutt owner conduct is more often arrogant scofflaw stuff.

    It isn't criminal, just repulsive if you aren't on the bowser worship wavelength.

    The Arboretum is a good example

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    Every entrance to the Arnold Arboretum is posted "dogs must be on a leash". Yet the entitled very special dog owners with their very special dogs usually ignore the sign and let their dogs run free. Yesterday was a cold day and not many people were in the Arboretum when I was there but I counted a total of 11 dogs, 2 on a leash, and 9 running free. It's always like that.
    I don't know why dog owners think the world revolves around them, but they do.

    rabbit rabbit rabbit

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    Who knew that native New England rabbits are being outcompeted by visually-identical but genetically-distinct slightly-less-native Eastern rabbits due to landscape changes. And I just assumed there were too many rabbits around the city.

    It's probably a habitat destruction

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    ..indicator species or something, which has little to do with the broader point of property rights.

    Moreover, budget money is available for habitat restoration and study.

    Property owners have rights to determine how the public uses their property if they are allowed at all.

    Mutt Meisters, beg to differ.

    And it's all just more exceptionalist life style bullshit that people so love to wear on their sleeves.

    I made a great photo last week of a chick mutt owner asshole ignoring a no poochie sign at a small beach in Nahant.

    And, unlike bicycle advocates, who can get pretty exceptional about their lifestyle choice, it is at least motivated by a bunch of positive impulses like greenhouse gas reduction and traffic relief.

    Pooch owners are more often the epitome of lavish self love with the poor dog stuck being a kind of meta mirror.

    So Sally, if you live in Boston

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    do you or don't you obey the leash law 100% of the time? And if you don't live in Boston, are you aware there is a leash law in Boston and that is universally disobeyed?


    Likes and dislikes

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    Patricia, I can see that you are a fan of dog poo and dog owners that feel they don't have to obey the leash laws. However I am not. How about if you and your pooping dog move out of the city instead of me? Just because I live in the city doesn't mean I accept your dog's poo.


    Rats are smarter than dogs

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    Rats will not eat from a "new" food source unless their "old" food sources are completely cut off. So if rats eat, say, seeds from the trees and bagels thrown for birds, and suddenly blue granules appear, the rats will ignore them and eat the seeds and bagels. If you clean up the seeds and bagels but there's a dumpster nearby, they'll eat out of that because dumpster bread is similar to bagels...and still ignore the blue granules.

    The rat poision will wash away from weather or be eaten by something less discerning before a rat even decides to give it a taste.

    I'd also like to know who all these people are who think it's possible to control dogs and children by mind-meld. You can have a kid or dog under full control, but unless you can possess their brain and control their motor neurons, you can't stop them from eating something yucky.

    Modern Rat Poison Is Designed Not To Kill Immediately

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    You're correct; rats are reluctant to try any new food source (i.e.: poison bait). At first, they'll only eat just a little bit to see if they get sick. For this reason, modern rat poison is designed such it takes several days for the rats to die. The idea is, after a couple of days they'll start eating more (eventually consuming a lethal dose), and possibly bring some of the bait back to their nesting area where other rats will start eating it too.

    When you first put out your bait box, it helps to smear a little peanut butter on the bait blocks inside the box; it makes the poison much more appetizing to the rats. Wearing gloves is very important while loading the bait, for your own safety and also to reduce the transfer of human scent to the box. The peanut butter will also help to mask any human scent (or at least, make the rats less suspicious of it).

    I think the aim is more modest.

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    I'd also like to know who all these people are who think it's possible to control dogs and children by mind-meld. You can have a kid or dog under full control, but unless you can possess their brain and control their motor neurons, you can't stop them from eating something yucky.

    Really, it's about a short leash for a pooch when in some place with potential hazards and some similar thing for human toddlers for the relatively brief period when we are too dumb to avoid putting random stuff in our mouths. It may also want focus on that actual task as if the dog or kid mattered more than any other thing in that moment. So the hand helds and other distractions probably need to be shut off.

    Most of us figure it out by 4 or so and we are trainable.

    The main reason I never knocked anyone up is dread at the vigilance wanted from infancy through the terrible twos.

    Doing it right is really demanding, especially in basic urban squalor, and we should all be in awe of those who ace it.

    Child rearing for Dummies is probably a bad idea.

    And I don't impose ownership on dogs for similar reasons.

    Absolute lunacy

    If you think it is someone else's fault if a child or dog is killed by rat poison haphazardly strewn about a park, you are an absolute raving lunatic. Go move to New Hampshire or Montana, you psychopath. You seriously need to get a grip on reality. I can't believe anyone would defend anything other than a calculated response to rats. But hey, I guess you're just as lazy as lazy dog owners, since you can't even be bothered to properly handle a rat problem.