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San Diego Parks and Rec says no poison found at Fiesta Island Park

Two dogs enjoying being off leash on Fiesta Island, May 21, 2019.
Andi Dukleth
Two dogs enjoy being off leash on Fiesta Island, May 21, 2019.

Dog parents were put on high alert when an Instagram post warning that dogs have been poisoned at Fiesta Island Park was posted on Friday.

The post, shared by @pacificbeachpage, read “(Don’t) go to Fiesta Island Dog Park! Someone sprinkled rat poison around & dogs are dying.”

In an email to KPBS, the San Diego Parks and Recreation Department said staff inspected the site for any signs of poison in addition to foreign objects. The department said nothing was found.


“It is important to note that the City of San Diego does not apply pesticides in dog off-leash areas,” the statement read. “Staff will continue to monitor the situation to ensure that Fiesta Island remains a safe and welcoming place for all.”

The original Instagram post was edited later on Friday to read: “Update: Fiesta Island was alerted of a few social media posts regarding this topic and visited the site and saw no signs of any poisons above ground within the approved dog areas of Fiesta.”

Katrina Mangino, the admin of @pacificbeachpage, said in a direct message to KPBS that she felt compelled to post the warning after receiving a report of dog poisoning via a message on her account, in addition to reading another dog poisoning claim on Nextdoor.

This isn’t the first instance of owners claiming danger for dogs at Fiesta Island, according to some media reports. A woman claimed that her dog was poisoned with PCP while playing on Fiesta Island in 2017. In 2021, dog owners were alarmed when signs were posted around the park claiming that dogs had gone missing.

There are tips you can follow from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals when taking your dog outdoors this weekend. Here’s a few below, but visit the ASPCA’s website for a complete list.

  • Always keep an eye on your dog to make sure they’re not ingesting anything potentially toxic such as poisonous mushrooms or toxic plants.
  • Also keep an eye out for snakes. 
  • Avoid letting your pet drink from foreign bodies of water as toxins such as blue-green algae can be seen in the summer months.
  • Make sure to have your pet protected from fleas and ticks before going outside. Check them afterwards for fleas and ticks, as well. 
  • Keep your dog on a leash when exploring a new area, or if the law requires them to be on a leash. 
KPBS has created a public safety coverage policy to guide decisions on what stories we prioritize, as well as whose narratives we need to include to tell complete stories that best serve our audiences. This policy was shaped through months of training with the Poynter Institute and feedback from the community. You can read the full policy here.