Tainted meatballs found in more S.F. neighborhoods 

click to enlarge Veterinarians say strychnine might have been mixed into hundreds of meatballs left on streets. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • Veterinarians say strychnine might have been mixed into hundreds of meatballs left on streets.

Authorities have yet to identify suspects in connection with hundreds of poisoned meatballs that were discarded along city streets — in an apparent attempt to sicken dogs — as reports of the tainted meat spread to new neighborhoods last weekend.

Police issued a warning about the potentially deadly meat last week after 7-year-old dachshund Oskar ingested some near Crestline Drive and Burnett Avenue in Twin Peaks.

More poisoned-meat discoveries were reported in other neighborhoods, including Lower Haight, Cole Valley, Hayes Valley and Bernal Heights, said Dr. Carrie Jurney, a board-certified neurologist at Animal Internal Medicine and Specialty Services, where Oskar is being treated.

Community members have collected hundreds of tainted meatballs, according to police.

The last reported discovery was over the weekend, Jurney said Tuesday.

Oskar had a seizure minutes after ingesting the meatball and remains in critical but stable condition.

After suffering a health setback last weekend, the pooch was placed on a ventilator — the highest level of intensive care.

“We’re still optimistic,” Jurney said about Oskar’s recovery. “We just have to get over a few more humps, but he’s a fighter.”

Oskar is one of at least two to three dogs known to have received treatment in connection with ingesting the tainted meats.

Veterinarians suspect the poisonous substance is strychnine, given Oskar’s symptoms and the granules that could be seen in the meatballs. As of Tuesday, however, toxicology tests were still pending, Jurney said.

Police at Park station said it appears the meats were deliberately placed “where dogs defecate and against building lines.” Heartbroken cops at the station pooled together $250 to donate to Oskar’s recovery, said Oskar’s owner, Dorothy Schechter. The vet bill is expected to reach $26,000, Schechter said.

A fund has been set up for those wanting to donate to Oskar’s recovery. Details on how to donate can be found on the Animal Internal Medicine and Specialty Services’ Facebook page.

Anyone with information about the case is encouraged to call (415) 554-9400.

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