Ban Rat Poison in California, Save Pets Lives
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In December of 2016, my friend, companion and brother of 12 years passed away. Coco the strong, beautiful, loyal and loving golden retriever chow mix, "Simba" and "Coco nana" as we called him, started suffering random seizures on December 15, 2016.
He was healthy, strong and youthful, and was often mistaken for a puppy. This was sudden and caught us completely off guard. How could our strong, brave Coco have been susceptible to seizures? It started with a horrible grand mal seizure. It was honestly one of the most terrifying things I've seen, seeing someone I care so much about in that much discomfort, paddling uncontrollably on the floor, foaming in the mouth, eyes rolled. I don't wish that sight upon anybody.
He got up five minutes later, pacing around the house, as if he didn't know where he was or who we were. He wouldn't respond to his name. He wouldn't come when we called. Half his face was drooping, similar to the side effects of a stroke. We got him in to car, with great difficulty as we wouldn't cooperate. We rushed him to the nearest vet, and although it was a five minute ride away, it was one of the longest. He was given seizure medicine and stabilized, but half an hour later, suffered another seizure. Then another. The vet told us they couldn't much more, and sent us to the closest animal hospital. There, they told us they would keep him overnight and try a different combination of seizure medications. If it worked, he would be sent home the next day. He was looking at us before we left for the night. In those beautiful, soulful brown eyes of his, he was hopeful too. He didn't know what was wrong with him, but he knew we were trying to make it stop. He looked at us with those loving eyes, as hopeful as we were. He licked my brother's face for a good five minutes, he loved my brother almost as much as he loved licking his beard. He was carried to his little metal room, and we left for the night.
The next day at five in the morning we got a call from the vet. The medication didn’t work. We arrived at 11 am. He was feeble and covered in his own urine. We were told we only had two options. But we couldn’t keep trying. It wasn’t working and he had suffered enough. Even if we found a solution, it wouldn’t be long term. That afternoon, we said goodbye to our dear Coco.
It was a difficult time after that. We no longer heard the clicking of his long nails on the hard floor at night, nor the soft sound of his soft fur on the floor as he stretched during his afternoon naps, as he loved them so much. Neighbors asked us where “the 'lil lion looking dog” was, since they hadn’t gotten to know him; we had only been living here a few months and hadn’t really gotten to know them. We told them the story. Upon one conversation with a neighbor we hadn’t talked to much, we learned about some of the other neighbors. We were told that one of them uses rat poison in their yard. That’s when it hit me. Rat poison, when ingested, causes seizures in dogs. I always saw coco chasing squirrels and other things in the yard. I recalled that among other things and it all came sinking in at once. Coco had been poisoned.
This inhumane, devastating event happens more often than I realized. This stuff is used by thousands, and readily available and readily legal for all homeowners to use. This is outrageous. Dogs don’t know what this is. They don’t know we do this. And why? For convenience? For our luxury? Instead of using the simplest and most humane solutions like traps, that have little to no chance of hurting anyone or any animal? Or if you so dearly wish to not have to handle the situation hands-on, homeowners can't even take the time on spending the money on a proper exterminator and the housing of pets to keep them away from the contaminated area until the problem is taken care of? This is horrible. The fact that we care more about getting rid of pests than the health of our pets. This also doesn't just affect pets, it can be ingested by bird of prey in wild, who prey on rodents. It can even be stumbled upon by young children. About 3,700 cases of child poisoning by rodenticides are treated each year. There are several different kinds of formulas used in rat poison. Some, like Anticoagulant rodenticides (ACR), are used by using clotting factors to clot blood, thus killing the rat. This causes the blood to clot in other animals and lead to internal bleeding. The antidote is a blood thinner. But other kinds like Cholecalciferol and Bromethalin do not have an antidote and are difficult to treat. Please, help us in banning this destructive substance, and keeping our companions safe. At the very least, help ban blood clotting rat poisons that cannot be treated when wrongfully ingested. I don’t want anyone to see their pet suffer the way we did. I’m hoping to take this case to the council and get it banned here, then hopefully all of California and maybe more states. Please, never let this happen to any other pet owners. As you sign this, spread the word. Stop buying this poison and persuade others to stop as well. Do it for your pets, do it for other’s pets, and do it for the beloved and dearly missed Coco.
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