Police are warning that hundreds of tainted meatballs found in San Francisco's Twin Peaks and Diamond Heights neighborhoods recently contain levels of strychnine potentially lethal to humans.
The meatballs are believed to have been left to kill dogs, and one dog that ate the meatballs last week, a dachshund named Oskar, died Thursday night, San Francisco Animal Care & Control spokeswoman Deb Campbell said.
Anyone who encounters the meatballs is advised to call 911 and only to handle them if absolutely necessary and with heavy gloves as the poison can be absorbed through the skin, police said.
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The meatballs have apparently been deliberately placed in spots where dogs defecate in the area of Crestline, Burnett and Parkridge drives, according to police.
Campbell said that if a dog is believed to have eaten the meatballs the animal should be immediately taken to a veterinarian. San Francisco Veterinary Services, Pets Unlimited and All Pets offer 24-hour vet service, she said.
She said that reports of the meatballs being found elsewhere in the city -- including Noe Valley and Dolores Park -- are unsubstantiated