We have an email list for our neighborhood block, and this morning… I saw a note from Mark, asking about a slew of mysterious white pellets that were spread along the West side of our street.
While I was outside doing some yard work, I ventured over… and took a look. It was odd, in that the pellets were only on the West side of the street (and not on the East side). It also seemed to start and stop between a set number of houses, and didn’t extend the entire, full block.
I ran into my neighbor Mercedes, and the two of us talked about the pellets. We debated whether it was an accident (someone’s bag spilled), and whether it was potentially food or poison. After a minute or two, we both decided it needed to get cleaned up – better safe than sorry.
In the email discussion, there was a question on whether it might be food (rabbit pellets as an example). From what I know, rabbit pellets are green, as they’re mostly just compressed hay.
This stuff was white, and didn’t really look like food to me. When I walked the block to assess things, it seemed like there were areas that had a higher concentration, almost as though someone had been throwing this stuff down by hand, at intervals as they walked.
Over the course of the next hour, several of us were out with brooms and dustpans, trying to gather all the various pellets that were thrown down. Trying to get the pieces that made their way into the grass, and into the sidewalk cracks was a challenge. But we did a pretty good job, getting most everything picked up.
I think our overriding thought was that: if it was food, it’s bad because rodents could get to it… and we should pick it up. If it was poison meant for rats, it’s bad because children or dogs might come across it… and we should pick it up. Every answer led to the same conclusion: we should pick it up.
A concerning thought that I didn’t even consider was that someone intentionally put down this stuff (which we think was rat poison), with the express purpose of targeting dogs. Or possibly one of the dogs that reside along the East side of the street.
Despite this disturbing discovery, I’m grateful that our block is friendly and communicative. And in a few short hours, from when it was first noticed, we were all able to pitch up and clear what really was a hazard to our block.
I don’t like the thought of a world where someone would intentionally try to harm dogs. So I’ll focus instead on how great our neighbors are. And who took time out to clean things up, for the dogs that live here… and for the people who love them.