Letter: Pet Protection

Letter to the Editor

As many of you know, Poison Free Malibu has been working to alert homeowners, businesses and government leaders to the dangers of toxic pesticides. We were very pleased with the recent passage of California Assembly Bill 1788, which puts a moratorium on second generation anticoagulant rodent poisons while new regulations are developed. It went into effect Jan. 1.

This is just a partial step toward protecting wildlife, pets and children from rodent poisons.

It does not include first generation anticoagulant rodent poisons. Recent studies indicate they may have as much or even more cumulative effect on the poisoning of wildlife.

It does not cover non-anticoagulant poisons such as cholecalciferol (vitamin D3), bromethalin, strychnine (!) and zinc phosphide, which are very fast acting, extremely deadly, and have no antidotes. Please see our website PoisonFreeMalibu.org under “Rodent Poison Threat” for more information.

We are receiving reports from all parts of Malibu about owls, hawks, crows, rabbits, bobcats, coyotes and dogs poisoned.

They are found dead in driveways, yards, roads and even on roofs.

You may have seen some of the tragic casualties on NextDoor or Facebook.

Just a couple of weeks ago, a beloved dog was almost lost in Malibu West. The dog found a poisoned rat in his yard, munched on it and became deathly sick, but fortunately was rescued with prompt veterinary treatment.

Outcomes can go either way depending on how rapidly the animal can be treated. The owners used no poisons; it was from a neighbor, demonstrating that the poisons are not confined and that everyone is responsible.

A dog that didn’t make it is in this YouTube video from our partner Poison Free Agoura—youtu.be/HuQuM09Qqss (or see “Poison, Pets, and Children” on Sally Bartel’s YouTube page). It also illustrates that the bait station boxes do not provide protection from the poisons inside.

Sadly, the wildlife predators that naturally control the rodent population are the main victims.

Rodents go into the bait boxes, eat the poison and then leave—they do not die in the box!

It can take up to10 days for them to die, which makes them an easy meal for predators.

Thus, using rodent poisons makes the situation worse!

Poison bait boxes attract rodents to your property with the favorable bait additives inside. The idea should be to repel, not attract the rodents.

Unlike pets, wildlife has no one to save them – they die a slow, agonizing death and then pass on the poison to other predators up the food chain, all the way to the mountain lions. Please see our website under “Poison Free Solutions”  for alternatives for rodent control. 

Thank you everyone for your kind consideration for neighborhood pets and wildlife and please refrain from using poisons. 

Kian Schulman, RN, MSN