Poison strychnine detected in suspicious meatballs - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Poison strychnine detected in suspicious meatballs

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(One of the meatballs discovered Friday near Regal and
the Palouse Highway)

SPOKANE, Wash. - According to officials at Washington State University, the poison strychnine was detected in a meatball found on Spokane's South Hill last week.

Three dogs have been reported dead after eating meatballs found in their yard.

Suspicious meatballs were found in yards last week near the intersections of 55th Street and Freya, as well as Regal and the Palouse Highway.

A woman near the intersection of 36th and Grand called police on Sunday to report a meatball stuck on her fencepost. An animal control officer went to the home Monday morning but was unable to locate the suspicious food.

Anyone with information regarding these incidents or wanting to report suspicious activity which might be related to this type of animal cruelty is asked to call SCRAPS at 477-2761.

The Humane Society of the United States is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information in this case.

This level of cruelty could result in a charge of animal cruelty in the first degree, a class C felony which carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and $10,000 fine.

"Anyone capable of poisoning innocent dogs can be dangerous to people," said Dan Paul, Washington state director for The Humane Society of the United States. "Americans have no tolerance for violence against the creatures who share our world."

More Information:

From: Centers for Disease Control

What strychnine is

  • Strychnine is a white, odorless, bitter crystalline powder that can be taken by mouth, inhaled (breathed in), or mixed in a solution and given intravenously (injected directly into a vein).
  • Strychnine is a strong poison; only a small amount is needed to produce severe effects in people. Strychnine poisoning can cause extremely serious adverse health effects, including death.

How strychnine works

  • Strychnine prevents the proper operation of the chemical that controls nerve signals to the muscles. The chemical controlling nerve signals works like the body's "off switch" for muscles. When this "off switch" does not work correctly, muscles throughout the body have severe, painful spasms. Even though the person's consciousness or thinking are not affected at first (except that the person is very excitable and in pain), eventually the muscles tire and the person can't breathe.
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