- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—A dog park in Victorian Village remained closed on Monday, after a report that a dog fell ill and died after being at the park last week.

A veterinarian suggested that the dog might have been poisoned, according to a notice posted at the park.

Jose Rodriguez, a Columbus Public Health spokesman, said on Monday that he did not know the cause of the dog’s death and could not address the possibility of poison.

Wheeler Memorial Park’s dog park was closed as a precaution, he said.

“At this point, there is no connection” between the death and the park, he said. “It could be something totally unrelated to the park.”

Terri Leist, a Columbus Recreation and Parks spokeswoman, said on Saturday that a woman had called the city and said her dog fell ill and died after being at the park. Leist said the woman, whom the city did not identify, did not know for sure the cause of death.

An unofficial notice posted on the gate of the dog park had a headline that said, “Warning. Possible Poison in Dog Park.” The flier included a dog’s picture and said that a 10-month-old dog named Jude had died on Wednesday after suffering seizures, vomiting and diarrhea. It said that the vet had said the dog died of poisoning and went on to say that two other dogs that had been in the same park also died from poisoning.

The author didn’t give a name, and didn’t name the other dogs or their owners.

Rodriguez said he has no confirmation of the other dogs’ deaths.

The notice was taken down on Saturday.

Parks officials were notified on Friday and decided to close the park. A veterinarian with the health department will perform a necropsy on the woman’s dog to try to determine the cause of death, Rodriguez said.

“We’re taking every step necessary so no one loses a pet,” he said.

There is no timetable for reopening the park, Leist said, adding that Recreation and Parks is waiting on Public Health to give permission to open the park.

Dispatch Reporter Holly Zachariah contributed to this story.

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