BILLINGS- Pet owners are on high alert after more reports of dogs being poisoned have surfaced in the Billings area, this time with the use of a hot dog and pills.
Just this week, a potentially toxic hot dog was found at a property on the north side of town with an image shared on social media for other pet owners to watch out for.
“I've been seeing a lot of it all over social media,” pet owner Megan Bianco said Wednesday.
However, Bianco didn’t think such a thing would end up in such close proximity to her.
She says early Monday morning at a property on North 23rd Street where she works, her maintenance man, Ron Volak, was checking the property when he noticed something strange.
“It bothers me that people could hurt an animal,” said Volak.
He saw a hot dog stuffed with what appeared to be Tylenol, tossed over the fence of the property. He believes it was meant for a dog to eat and get sick.
“So I’ve had dogs my whole life and to see people that hurt animals. Just drives me crazy because it's not fair to the animal,” he said.
Once Bianco got wind of the situation, she quickly uploaded a picture of the hot dog to Facebook as a way to alert other pet owners.
“It's just crazy,” she said. “Like 20 pills I think they counted shoved into a hot dog, and whoever's wasting their time and their money on something like this and hurting people's animals- it's just ridiculous.”
They quickly alerted Billings Animal Control.
“You know, it wasn't a surprise to them to come out and get it,” said Bianco.
She believes that’s because similar reports are also popping up in other areas of Billings.
Billings South Side resident Tavia Silva tells MTN News that her dog, Niko, ate what she believes was the same poisonous trap. As soon as she figured out what was happening, she was able to take him to the emergency vet just in time to save his little life.
But others have reported not being as lucky.
MTN News reached out to Moore Lane Veterinary Hospital, which provides emergency care for pets, to see if the facility has treated dogs sick from poisoning or any mysterious illness, but the vet staff declined to comment.
It was just weeks ago that Yellowstone County Sheriff Mike Linder said his agency was investigating numerous reports of dogs suddenly dying from unknown causes.
As of Wednesday, Linder said that none of the samples deputies have taken from those dead dogs have shown poison as the cause of death. However, they are still waiting on more testing to come back from a lab.
But conversations about dogs being poisoned are circulating around social media, with tale after tale of beloved family pets suddenly dying with no explanation.
“People are just angry about it. You know, they want that justice,” said Bianco.
Bianco says clearly someone threw the pill-laced hot dog over the fence with the intention to hurt someone or something.
But the image leaves more questions than it does answers for police trying to find an evidence trail.
“They want to see somebody be held accountable for their actions, and the community is not getting that right now,” she said.
She says bottom line, others just need to keep a watchful eye over their pets.