Puppy was poisoned. If you’ve never seen an animal die from poisoning, you should know that it’s a horrible way to go. Here’s what happened.
You know we’ve been trying to retrain our dogs. Their freedom has been curtailed drastically. We’ve been working on obedience training intensively. We were tired of people deliberately provoking them, especially Puppy, by hitting them with sticks, kicking them from the motorcycle, and throwing stones at them.
All of our dogs bark. That’s what dogs do. Puppy liked to chase two-wheeled vehicles down the road. He never caused an accident. He never bit anyone. He just barked. One time, the Puppers also had a free-for-all with the neighbor’s sheep. They chased them around the house and back again. No sheep were injured. The Puppers had fun, the sheep not so much. These chasing behaviors were we were in the process of trying to eliminate. But in the end, it didn’t matter.
Buddy was the first dog in La Yacata to be poisoned. It’s possible that since Buddy looked so much like Puppy the perpetrators poisoned him by mistake. It’s also possible that since Buddy was often out, having been abandoned, and our dogs were corralled most of the day and all night, Buddy just found the pile of poisoned bones first. Buddy was the most mild-mannered dog ever. He just wanted affection. When you talked to him, he wagged his whole body in joy.
The second dog to be poisoned in La Yacata was Blackie. She was a sick and mistreated stray pit bull that found her way to La Yacata several months ago. She took a shine to the neighbors down below and set herself up at the corner as their self-appointed guardian. The neighbors fed her and gave her water. The 5-year-old granddaughter even set up a pillow for Blackie to sleep on. Blackie was looking healthy and certainly was happier. She growled at passers-by that ventured too close to “her” corner but never hurt anyone.
And then Puppy was poisoned. Chicken bones were left next to our front door. We should have been more suspicious of Puppy’s crunching while we were out with the animals that afternoon. We weren’t and Puppy died later that evening, a most horrible death. We made sure no vomit or excrement was left where any of the other animals could get at it.
We know who left the poison. The Borrega guy saw him. We also heard him discussing poison on the next road over one day. The acoustics in La Yacata are odd. We can hear people on the other road clear as day, but not so much when someone is beside the house.
This guy had poisoned my father-in-law’s dog, the mother of our Puppers, several months ago too. So this isn’t a one-time incident. We have two surviving dogs, chickens, goats and horses that could be affected by poison strewn about, especially at our doorstep. However, my husband didn’t want to confront him. He said it would make the situation worse.
I asked around and learned it was a crime, punishable by a fine or two years in jail, to poison someone’s animals on their own property. I played with the idea of reporting this to Ministerio Publico despite the poor experiences I’ve had in the past with the justice system in Mexico. The problem was we’d have to PROVE beyond a shadow of a doubt that he did it. Although we had eye-witness testimony and our own evidence, the dead dog, the remaining chicken bones and the overheard conversation, that probably wouldn’t be enough. Plus, the poison was technically outside our property line.
Instead, when we went to the market, I asked the man’s daughter, who runs the market, to tell her father to stop leaving poison in La Yacata. I was firm and courteous. She didn’t deny that her father had done it. I also mentioned that it was a crime to poison animals, that any children who accidentally picked up the bones or sticks or stones that had been dosed with poison could be injured, and that we had other animals that we didn’t want to be poisoned. She seemed angry but was polite as well.
My intention wasn’t to threaten or cause her discomfort, but to let the guy know that we knew it was him. My husband wasn’t happy that I’d said anything. However, I believe my actions prompted him to have a chat with the guy when he ran into him later. Of course, the man denied all knowledge, as if he’d admit it. But he received the message, loud and clear. We know he did it and now he knows we know.
Of course, with the way things are in the world today, we could have just made the situation worse. Although someone is at our house 24-hours a day, it would only take a minute for someone to drop poison by our door again in passing. This isn’t the first animal we’ve lost to poison. I’m sure it won’t be the last.
After this incident, when we took the Puppers for a walk, we found an entire chicken, still feathered, in a plastic bag by the side of the road next to a house that has no chickens. That house does have dogs that bark, however.
About five years ago, all the dogs in La Yacata, including our own, were poisoned. That was followed by a rash of burglaries. We lost some goats, the neighbor had a sheep stolen. My brother-in-law’s house was broken into and tools went missing. So we’ve been on edge since Puppy’s death.
We buried Puppy in the backyard under the cherimoya tree. We miss Puppy when we come home. He isn’t there anymore to greet us wagging his tail so hard he looked like a helicopter ready for lift-off.
My son tried to pick up all the bones scattered up and down our road. It’s a nearly impossible task but he felt like he had to do something preventative. He would be devastated if one of his Puppers was poisoned too. They are like his children. He’s paranoid on the walks with the dogs, not letting them even sniff grasshoppers or shrubs, in case there is something poisoned there.
But we go on, as best we can. What else is there to do?