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Police: Meatballs with pills left on street in San Francisco

Some neighbors believe dogs are being targeted

Tainted meatballs have turned up again in San Francisco in the Sunset district.

A dog walker found several meatballs on a paper plate in the open space at 24th Avenue and Ortega, where walking paths wind around the water reservoir.

"The meatballs appeared to have been stuffed with pills, which caused alarm," San Francisco police spokesman Gordon Shy told KTVU.

The pills and the meatballs have been turned over to testing, but those who frequent the area are assuming the worst - that someone is trying to poison their pets again.

"I think it's sick, just horrible," Gail Secchia told KTVU, as she took her dog Buddy out for an evening stroll. "I've been walking my dogs here for 30 years."

Sometimes she allows Buddy off the leash, but Monday evening, she kept him on a tight leash.

"Well it's meat, he won't eat everything, but he will eat meat, so I'm not going to take a chance," she said.

It's reminiscent of Twin Peaks in February when dozens of tainted meatballs were found scattered in shrubbery and in some cases, hidden where only an inquisitive canine might find it.

Last July, in a similar spree, a Dachshund died and another dog was sickened from meatballs laced with rat poison. Police never found the person responsible in either scare.

No animal has been injured this time, but word is spreading through the neighborhood to be careful and be on the lookout for more.

"It's unknown what the person's intentions are, but please call police and don't let your dog eat them," cautioned Shy.

Michelle Martin, grasping two Great Danes, Oliver and Oliver Jr., was blunt about whoever would hurt unsuspecting dogs.

"I wish they would realize it's really stupid. Find a hobby, do something else," Martin said, "These guys are my babies and if I had to send them to the hospital from a meatball, I would just be devastated."

In February some 34 tainted meatballs were found hidden in carports, behind stairwells, along curbs and in bushes in the Twin Peaks neighborhood.

Last July a 7-year-old dachshund named Oskar died after eating a meatball laced with strychnine in Twin Peaks. Another dog was sickened.

Police have never identified any suspects.

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