A popular dog run in a Mexico City park was squared off with orange tape Tuesday after reportedly nine dogs who used to go there died of apparent poisoning — all in six days.
Large banners hung on the popular fenced-off dog area in the well-to-do Condesa neighborhood in Mexico City, warning of a “Red Alert” that dogs are being poisoned.
Smaller paper signs posted throughout the park by the local government advised dog owners to keep their pets on leashes while an investigation into the poisoning continued.
A sign posted on the dog run gate had photos of the nine dogs that have been allegedly poisoned since Sept. 29, but authorities are not confirming an official figure.
Information spread rapidly on social media. The Facebook page "Cuidando Nuestros Perritos," or "Taking Care of Our Dogs," posted photos of pets and testimonials by distraught owners.
Alberto Franco Paz, who lives in the neighboring Escandon neighborhood, sat outside the dog run with his yellow Labrador retriever Jackie on Tuesday.
He said he first heard about the situation Saturday when he brought Jackie to the park and saw the signs. He indicated a small triangular patch of dirt and shrubs surrounded by yellow police tape outside the dog run where he said the poisonings allegedly occurred.
But he played down the threat, saying he thought people who did not like dogs coming to the park were trying to blow it out of proportion in hopes that fewer would come. He said city officials had inspected and cleaned the dog area without finding anything. He said authorities were also reviewing footage from security cameras.
"Really I'm not certain," Paz said. "But I don't know why they would do it."
A couple dozen people walked their dogs through the park Tuesday morning, but all the animals were on leashes.
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.