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The Salmon Police Department as lead investigatory agency in the Salmon dog deaths to date has officially been notified, through the cooperative effort of our local Veterinarians, the Humane Society, Law Enforcement agencies and specialized animal Forensic Laboratories which are currently addressing these deaths, that at two separate residential locations within the city limits of Salmon four of the unexplained dog deaths have now been positively attributed to poisoning from a highly restricted poison known as “1080”.

Characteristics of “1080” – aka Sodium fluoroacetate

“1080” is a water-soluble, tan-colored substance that is used as a poison. “1080” is highly toxic to all animals. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the only current legal use of”1080”, a restricted use pesticide, is by trained and certified commercial federal applicators for coyote control. It has been banned for general use for a number of years.

Use by any other individual or entity for any other purpose is a violation of federal law, and a person could be fined not more than $50,000 or imprisoned for more than 1 year, or both.

The Idaho State Statutes also has a specific statute that pertains to the poisoning of any animal in the State of Idaho, is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison not exceeding three (3) years, or in the county jail not exceeding one (1) year, and a fine not less than one hundred dollars ($100) or more than five thousand dollars ($5000).

Dogs that have ingested “1080” may show symptoms of poisoning through nervous system signs, specifically such as convulsions, hyperactivity and vomiting.

The poisoning seems to be very specifically targeted towards the dog population to date, but due to the residential area in which the poisonings have occurred the public is being alerted to other potential dangers. If this substance is accidentally ingested by a human the symptoms of poisoning will normally appear within thirty minutes to three hours after exposure. Initial symptoms include nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain followed by sweating, confusion, and agitation. If a large enough dosage is ingested by a human it is considered very hazardous or fatal, immediate medical attention is required. At the present time no known reliable antidote exists for “1080” poisonings.

If you find a suspicious substance that is unattended, and may be left for a dog to eat, such as hamburger balls, hot dogs, jerky products, etc. or any other possible substance that is suspicious do not handle the substance and please notify the Lemhi County Sheriff’s Office dispatch center immediately. We ask that you stand by until a Officer arrives, and that Officer will then attempt to determine if the substance could be hazardous, be related to these cases of poisoning, and take appropriate measures for possible evidence collection and documentation if needed.

Because of the extremely toxic characteristics of this substance the Salmon Police Department wishes to inform the general public of the positive identification of this substance in at least four specific dog deaths which have occurred in the last several months.

As of May 14, 2010 the Humane Society of the United States is offering an additional reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the suspicious dog deaths in Salmon, Idaho. The Lemhi County Humane Society has raised $3,000 to date, this increases the total reward offered up to $5,500 for specific information leading to the arrest and conviction of the offender(s) in these dog deaths.

Our Sheriff’s Office dispatch will continue to receive any information anyone may have at 756-8980 or at our tip line at 756-4636. If someone feels they have any information as to the identity of the source of these deaths they need to immediately contact the Salmon Police Department’s primary investigator in this case, which is Officer Leah Madsen or Chief J. D. Spain. It is even more imperative that any suspicious circumstances you observe are passed on in a timely manner to any Law Enforcement officer in Lemhi County. This is a community wide issue, whether you are a pet owner or not, and any person with specific information is urged to come forward to assist in this investigation to end these tragic animal deaths in our community.

It is the consensus of the Law Enforcement Agencies participating in this investigative effort, that once an offender(s) is identified criminal charges such as those stated above will be pursued to the fullest extent possible of the legal system in Idaho as well as possible Federal Law violations. Each incident of poisoning may be charged individually.

To date local, state and federal Law Enforcement agencies are working in unison to identify the offender(s) in these cases. We have representation currently from the Salmon Police Department, Lemhi County Sheriff’s Office, Lemhi County Prosecutor’s Office, Idaho State Police, Idaho Department of Agriculture, Idaho Fish and Game, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency. This does not include the several specialized animal Forensic Laboratories which are busy working on the forensics aspects of this investigation, our local Veterinarians, the local Humane Society and National Humane Society.

Thank you!


Chief of Police

Salmon Police Department

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