Residents in Manhattan fear the recent deaths of birds in the area may have been caused by poison and are now concerned about their own pets' safety.
Half a dozen sick birds have been brought to Animal General Hospital on Columbus Avenue since the beginning of last week. One was a blue jay and the rest were pigeons.
Workers at the hospital suspect someone may have poisoned the birds with corn kernels tainted with Avitrol, a poison used by pest control companies that is illegal in the city.
Jennifer Jessup, who lives on the Upper West Side, saw some of the dying birds as her dog got a check-up at the hospital.
"Their eyes were kind of rolling around a little bit," she said. "They couldn't stand up."
Jessup is concerned about other animals being inadvertently poisoned by eating food scraps in the area. Her dog, an Australian Shepherd, is "always sniffling around the park for scraps and stuff."
Veterinarian Paul Howell said that when the birds come into contact with Avitrol, "they get disoriented almost immediately."
The hospital placed posters around the Upper West Side warning other animal owners of the risk of eating from tainted grain or coming into contact with dead birds.
"We definitely have to watch out," said dog walker Katherine Irizarry. "watch out for the dogs, watch out for everything."
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