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<div class="quote-block">PORTLAND, Ore. (July 18) - Poisoned sausages placed in a park have apparently killed eight dogs in this usually pooch-friendly town amid a heated debate over whether dogs should be allowed in parks without a leash.<br><br><br><br>
Autopsies indicated that someone laced the meat with the herbicide paraquat, veterinarians say. The poisonings began weeks after a round of local media reports dissecting the tensions surrounding the leash/no-leash issue in city parks.<br><br><br><br>
Canine owners are on edge, certain that some lifelong dog-hater got sniffed one too many times by an unleashed pet, and decided to take revenge. They are packing fund-raisers around the city to contribute toward a reward for information leading to an arrest. So far, the take is $13,000 and counting.<br><br><br><br>
The dogs who have died were all roaming leafy Laurelhurst Park, recently identified in a study by graduate students at Portland State University as the park generating the highest number of complaints about off-leash dogs.<br><br><br><br>
The popular park has been almost deserted since word first spread about the poisonings, and the few dog owners who do show up keep their tethers tight.<br><br><br><br>
Megan Premo was walking there Thursday with Phoenix, an Australian Shepherd mix, restraining the dog every time he strained toward a clutch of nearby squirrels.<br><br><br><br>
``It's a shame I can't let him off the leash without him getting in some poisoned sausage'' said Premo, 24, the leash wound securely around her wrist.<br><br><br><br>
Those in favor of leash-free parks have reported threats and insults yelled at them from the leash-your-dog crowd while in parks.<br><br><br><br>
Last month, the city council voted to spend $60,000 to enforce leash laws. The laws were ignored for years, angering those who leash their dogs and non-dog people, and spurring pro-leash advocates to launch a Web site, leashyourdog.com, for reporting free-roaming dogs.<br><br><br><br>
The site includes candid spy photos of free-roaming dogs and their owners, arguments for leash laws and links to updates about the Laurelhurst poisonings.<br><br><br><br>
The first sick dogs arrived at Dove Lewis Emergency Animal Hospital July 3 suffering from vomiting, diarrhea and mouth ulcers. Owners of the afflicted dogs said their pets had scarfed down something resembling a piece of pepperoni before they fell ill.<br><br><br><br>
Police spokesman Henry Groepper said police had no suspects and no motive. But on Thursday, a waitress at the Lucky Lab, a canine-friendly bar holding a fund-raiser for the reward pot, fielded an anonymous call from a man saying the dog killings would spread to a second park.<br><br><br><br>
``He wanted me to tell the media he was moving this campaign to Mount Tabor,'' waitress Anette Hunt said.<br><br><br><br>
Premo, who was walking Phoenix for friends, was strolling past a bucolic duck pond when her cell phone rang.<br><br><br><br>
``He hasn't eaten anything,'' she said to the caller. ``We're leaving right now.<br><br><br><br><br><br>
07/18/03 11:29 EDT<br><br><br><br><br><br>
Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.</div>
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What's with animal cruelty? Ugh...I hate mean people!!! It's bad enough when people eat sausage, but to poison it and randomly distibute it in a park? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/bigcry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":cry:">
 

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Disgusting. I hope someone finds the guy and beats the crap out of him. Why hurt the dogs?! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":(">
 

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How bad!!! Still I remember Portland as an openminded city! I hope the police will catch the culprid.
 
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