GUILFORD, Maine — A hunk of frozen meat dragged into a Guilford home by the owner’s dog has been turned over to authorities for testing.
While the raw meat, which appeared to be hamburger, could have been taken from someone’s trash, the Riverside Terrace pet owner was cautious in the wake of a dog’s death in Parkman from antifreeze poisoning and he called police.
In December, a Parkman dog was poisoned by antifreeze and later died. A few weeks later a cat and dog in neighboring Guilford became ill with similar symptoms of antifreeze poisoning but survived.
Those incidents followed the mysterious poisonings in 2006 of five dogs that became sick and died in the Abbot and Monson region. It was believed then that the dogs died from meat that had been poisoned and left in driveways.
When the dog owner spotted the meat Sunday, he put on his snowshoes and followed his mixed breed’s tracks to a nearby deer yard to see whether it might have come from a dead animal there, according to Joe Guyotte, Guilford’s animal control officer. The man also contacted his neighbors on the dead-end street to inquire about the meat, but they had no knowledge about it, he said Sunday.
“We don’t know where it came from,” Guyotte said. He said he planned to take the frozen meat to the Foxcroft Veterinary Service on Monday. The issue, he said, is just who will pay for the testing since the meat has to be sent away to a toxicology laboratory. It could be the town of Guilford, the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Of-fice or the homeowner, he said. He believes it should be tested. “Let’s find out what’s going on,” he said.
Until it can be determined that the meat was simply discarded and was not contaminated with antifreeze, Guyotte urged pet owners to keep an eye on their animals. “Keep them home and don’t let them run,” he said.
Maine Friends of Animals has posted a reward for the arrest and conviction of the person or persons behind the Parkman death and the earlier poisonings of pets.