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Bannock County Sheriff, Humane Society urge dog owners to remain safe on trails

BANNOCK COUNTY, Idaho (KIFI) - The Bannock County Sheriff’s Office, in cooperation with the Bannock Humane Society, is reminding the public to remain vigilant as the weather warms up and more people use area trails for dog-walking.

There have been no further reports of hotdogs laced with ibuprofen on area trails in recent weeks; however, there have been reports of similar instances in Jackson Hole, Boise and Montana.

“We can’t be sure that the person or people leaving these hotdogs won’t do it again, so we’re encouraging trail users to not let their guard down this spring,” said Sgt. Jon Everson with the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office.

If a dog ingests ibuprofen, it can cause kidney failure or even death. According to the Bannock Humane Society, symptoms of ibuprofen toxicity in a dog may include not eating, vomiting, black tarry stools, abdominal pain, weakness, lethargy, increased thirst and increased urination. 

“We at the Bannock Humane Society are always concerned when we hear of issues and problems with animals in our home community,” said Danie Lewis-Ekstrom, President of the Bannock Humane Society. “The recent, unresolved problem of someone (or some people) leaving Ibuprofen-laced hotdogs along local hiking/biking nature trailheads leaves us worried.”

The Bannock Humane Society offers these safety tips to dog owners:

  1. Be vigilant and pay close attention to your surroundings. Watch for anything that seems out of the ordinary. This includes other people acting strangely, other animals, and items (such as toys, food, anything that might be appealing to a dog) that are out of place and don't belong there. 
  2. Manage control of your dog with a leash, whether short or long. Make sure the collar or harness is well-fitted.
  3. Manage control of your dog by perfecting two key commands: recall and "leave it.” Both could be life-saving in the event your dog finds something dangerous.
  4. Have your dog’s veterinarian in your phone contacts in case you need to reach them right away.

The investigation is ongoing, and the Sheriff’s Office is still accepting tips from the public.

“We’re doing everything we can to find who is responsible for these cruel acts, but we can’t be everywhere at all times. That’s where we need the public’s help,” Sgt. Everson said.

Investigators are asking the public to:

  • Be vigilant for any suspicious activity near trailheads or along walking paths
  • Never compromise your own safety, but as the situation allows, be a good witness; if possible, document the activity and include a detailed description of the person and type of activity including make, color, and/or license plate of any involved vehicle.
  • Report the suspicious activity as soon as possible to the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office 208-236-7111. Suspicious activity could be anything regular trail users recognize as odd or out of the ordinary.
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