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Dog deaths in North Vancouver may be tied to suspected mushroom poisoning: RCMP

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Dog owners in North Vancouver are being advised to keep their pets on a short leash if they are walking in Cates Park along the shores of Burrard Inlet.

RCMP Sgt. Doug Trousdell says at least two dogs are confirmed to have died after eating what is suspected to have been some type of poisonous mushroom.

Trousdell says police have received reports in the last month about several dogs becoming ill after visiting the park, and a third dog may also have died, although that is still being confirmed.

He says the BC SPCA and District of North Vancouver parks department are also investigating.

Signs have been posted advising owners to keep their dogs leashed, even in off-leash areas, until further notice.

Police have taken samples of mushrooms from the park and are waiting for test results, but Trousdell says the fungus is likely to have caused the dog deaths.

"We are obviously alive to the possibility it could be something else but we don't have any reason at this point ... to suggest it is a deliberate act," he said in a phone interview.

If it turns out to be deliberate, Trousdell said police will become more involved. But if naturally occurring mushrooms are determined to have been the cause, the matter will be handed over to the SPCA and District of North Vancouver.

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