PITTSFIELD, Mass. (NEWS10) — Pittsfield Police are investigating reports of dead squirrels, a fox, and one dog sickened in the area of Deming Park, but the cause is unclear.
“I don’t think it’s deliberate, and if it is, it’s cruel. I would hope the person doing it, if it is deliberate, would stop,” said Joseph Bishop.
Bishop spent his childhood coming to Deming Park and was disturbed by the online posts. City officials saw them, too.
“There was speculation through social media that they were seeing dead squirrels in Deming Park possibly due to rodenticides that may be used in or near the park,” said Director of Public Health Gina Armstrong.
She says the city does not use rat poison in their parks. Squirrels abound in the neighborhood surrounding the park, so its possible poison may have come from a homeowner.
“We really discourage the use of rodenticides for many reasons,” said Armstrong.
One being the threat poisoned wildlife can pose to pets.
“That’s my concern, that dogs in the neighborhood could get loose,” said Bishop.
Police say they don’t know if the report of a sick dog is linked to rat poison, and there has been no testing on any squirrel carcasses. Armstrong says, despite a lot of conversation, specific details are hard to come by.
“It would be helpful if people could call us with information,” said Armstrong.
Pittsfield Police say animal control officers have been to the park and haven’t seen any squirrels, but they are increasing patrols.