UPDATED: Resident Outraged at Dog Poisoning

A San Clemente man spoke before San Clemente City Council on Tuesday, demanding justice for his poisoned dog. The district attorney is investigating.

A San Clemente family says they want justice for their dog, who they say was poisoned to death by a neighbor.

Marc and Denise Schroeder spoke at the City Council meeting Tuesday, demanding that the neighbor who put out the poisoned food the dog ate be prosecuted.

The neighbor, Ray Haines, told CBS Local he was trying to kill a possum that was tearing up his garden and he feels terrible about the death of Diablito, the small dog that ate the strychnine.

Schroeder said he had to pay $400 to have his dog autopsied to find the poison in its stomach.

Marc Schroeder said he was outraged that at first his understanding was that the poisoning was an infraction and wouldn't be prosecuted, but City Manager George Scarborough corrected him, saying the Coastal Animal Services Authority was sending the paperwork to the Orange County District Attorney's Office, which would decide whether to prosecute.

"It is a criminal action to poison animals, even wildlife," Scarborough said.

City Attorney Jeff Goldfarb said the city had no authority to prosecute Haines for the alleged misdemeanor because it was part of state law.

As of Thursday, the case was not in the computer system at the Orange County District Attorney's Office, said DA spokeswoman Farrah Emami, but that doesn't mean the DA's office hasn't yet received the paperwork -- the 70,000 cases the Orange County District Attorney's Office receives each year are often routed for review to many deputy DAs before they are logged into the system.

According to the California Department of Fish and Game, only certain poisons are legally allowed to be used against pests:

Some rodent baits, for example those that contain the active ingredients chlorphacinone and diphacinone, are legal to use in outdoor areas. These products can be used to control field rodents such as gophers, voles and ground squirrels. Other rodent bait products, such as those that contain the active ingredients broadifacoum, bromodialone or difethialone, can only be used to control rodents found within structures, like rats and mice.

Read more tips for safe rodent control here.

Marc Schroeder May 02, 2012 at 05:55 PM
I was NOT "corrected" by Mr. Scarborough. I have heard it before. The fact is, I was told by 2 animal control officers and their supervisor that this case was NOT going to be criminally prosecuted, in fact, they were not even going to test the confiscated dog food- poison mixture or my dogs body unless I paid for it. In my opinion that fact alone makes it painfully obvious to anyone that the District Atty would be unable to build a case without that evidence. They are attempting to shift the responsibility to the DA when it is their responsibility to provide him with the tools to do his job. IF this case is prosecuted? It will only be because I have brought it to the public's attention and it would be so outrageous to not do so with all the evidence collected and even a confession. Marc Schroeder
jeff s May 03, 2012 at 02:13 PM
Why was the liitle devil dog off his leash or out of his yard? How was it able to mosey onto the other mans property to eat the poison? Perhaps pooping and trespassing? There is more to this poopy poison tale I say...
jeff s May 03, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Wait a minute!!! Nice overalls!!!!
Val Hopkins May 03, 2012 at 03:00 PM
I'm guessing that Marc has an HOA that prevents him from installing a fence that would contain his dog. Regardless, his neighbor is lying through his teeth about his reason for laying out the poison. For starters, opossums are EXTREMELY important to the ecosystem, & this moron, in his lies to cover his reason for poisoning the dog, is now also harming the environment. The AC officers in SC don't give a crap about justice in any form. They're more intent on their power trips, since they never made it as "real cops." They'd rather harrass legitimate rescues than help out when needed, as in this case. Marc's neighbor is a sick, twisted old curmudgeon. The HOA needs to be addressed as well. Marc's dog died a painful death that he did not deserve. I can only wish the best for Marc, & as far as his neighbor goes, he can rot in hell.
Marc Schroeder May 03, 2012 at 04:06 PM
Jeff, Diablito was not on a leash because the last time I saw him before he was poisoned, he was inside of our home. Apparently, he followed me outside and I did not see him and then jumped over a wall in order to investigate the smell he noticed on our way into the house. The poison-dog food mixture was placed by my neighbor 10 feet from our property line, 15 feet from our front door. Animals cannot be guilty of "trespassing" as they do not know what it is. If I homeowner wants to break the law and poison every living thing that comes into their yard? The should at least fence it. When I first read your comment, I thought, This guy has a sick sense of humor and a poop obsession. But, while driving my Daughter to school, I thought about what you wrote. Perhaps? This WAS an intentional poisoning of a pet due to Atlas (a friends 135 lb German Shepard that was also poisoned but survived) possibly shitting in his yard? I can't imagine one of 8 lb Diablito's tiny turds bothering him. If you are right and it could be proven? My Neighbor would be facing felony charges of INTENTIONALLY harming a domestic animal.
Marc Schroeder May 03, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Go get yourself a pair at Sears.
Marc Schroeder May 03, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Val, I DO have my backyard fenced and Diablito could not escape from it. However, he figured out a way to defeat the fencing in the front yard after sneaking past me. Remember, he was black, tiny and it was dark. My neighbor DID lie repeatedly to both me and the investigator. Since then, he did confess to putting out the poison and apologize. I will never know whether the poison was meant for my dog. I would like to think it was not. However, my neighbor continues to lie, for example, he claimed on the phone to me this last Saturday that "I have not seen a dog in my yard for over a year" I stopped him there and told him that while I was willing to listen to an apology, I was NOT going to listen to one laced with lies and made up excuses and hung up the phone. He was almost knocked over by Atlas and Diablito running into his yard the day before Atlas was poisoned. I would disagree with your opinion that " The AC officers in SC don't give a crap about justice in any form." In my opinion, they do care but have limited resources to perform investigations. That being said, I have no doubt that if I was not raising hell about what happened to my dog? It would have been nothing more than a ticket and a fine which is nowhere near justice for the agonizing death Diablito suffered and the mental anguish me and my family are going through. Thanks for taking an interest in the case.
GreenInOC May 04, 2012 at 12:11 AM
@Marc, I'm so sorry that you and your family have suffered the loss of a beloved pet. No matter the circumstances, it is difficult. I'm curious when you state that Diablito got into your neighbor's yard "almost knocked over by Atlas and Diablito", the day before this incident. It would seem based on what you've written here that Diablito's escape the day he ate the poison was not a isolated problem and one that you were aware of. You state above that Atlas, your neighbor's 135# dog was poisoned previously and survived. Then you go on to say that Atlas was with Diablito in your other neighbor's yard (when they nearly knocked him over) the day before Diablito ate the poison. I find it odd that someone would allow their dog to run free after being mysteriously poisoned. At what point do you think we should take responsibility for our own actions?
Phil May 04, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Marc: the problem is you and your failure to respect others' property. Your attitude that your dog's small poop should be tolerated is offensive. You should be prosecuted. I hope you take better care of your pets in the future.
Marc Schroeder May 04, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Green, Atlas, Diablito and I were walking over to our neighbor's house 2 lots over from mine. Ray started talking to me from his yard, the dogs ran past him and played in his yard for 5 minutes while we talked. At no time did Ray say keep your dogs out of my yard or I plan to put out poison. The following morning while I was loading my truck to take my family and the dogs to the beach, Atlas ran into Rays yard, returned and started going into convulsions. I did not know he was poisoned, I though he had some sort of pre-existing medical problem. As soon as I could reach his owner, she took him to the hospital. They could not say what was wrong with him either. The following evening upon getting home from work, Diablito snuck past me, jumped a wall and went to go investigate the smell of the canned dog food. As soon as we realized he was missing, I called him, he came and started going into convolutions. It was at that very moment, when I saw him kicking his feet in the air, I realized that Ray had put out poison. It was not until the next morning I saw it was mixed with dog food. At what point do you think Ray should have taken "responsibility" for his actions? Was it when he lied the next day to me and the Animal Control Officer telling us he "would never put out poison, after all, there is a 3 year old girl living next door" or was it when he lied last Sat. telling me "I have not seen a dog in my yard for a year"? My dog escaped his fenced yard. It happens to all dog owners.
PaulSez May 04, 2012 at 02:21 PM
There are no bad pets - only bad pet owners
Marc Schroeder May 04, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Phil, I DO respect other people's property. Me and Ray had a unspoken agreement to allow each other on each others property. He has storage under his house which he cannot access without entering my yard, he has given me an open invitation to take produce from his garden. He has never asked me to keep my dog out of his yard. My pets are well taken care of. My last dog lived to age 14 and he was a Rodision Ridge back which don't usually last that long. How about my cat and the many others who roam our neighborhood? Do they deserve to die an agonizing death as well? How do you feel about poisoning skunks, possums and racoons? You are aware that it is illegal and inhumane aren't you? I hope you pull your head out in the future.
Phil May 04, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Yes, poisoning is wrong and cruel, which is why it is so important to keep dogs on leashes and off of other neighbors' yards. You assumed your dog's poop is acceptable to your neighbor, but I note you did not say you and your neighbor had an unspoken agreement for your dog to be in his yard and to poop in his yard. I deal with disrespectful people like you every day and everywhere. You, your pooping dogs, and your pooping cats need to stay off others' property. Then you can have a clear conscience and need not blame yourself for harm that comes to them. FYI, your story does not hold water: Your neighbor is friendly and lets you take from his garden and does not care if your dog is in his yard, but he intentionally poisoned your dog. Come back when you get the story straight.
Marc Schroeder May 04, 2012 at 03:26 PM
OK Phil, you claim that "poisoning is wrong and cruel" yet you have no problem with persons who are doing it? If my neighbor had a problem with Diablito's tiny turds? Would it be logical for him to say so during our frequent conversations? You are the person who seems to be "disrespectful" to me and I pity the "people" who have to "deal" with you "every day" I don't know if you are prone to making ASSumptions, suffer from reading comprehension issues or are cursed with a low IQ? But I NEVER said my neighbor intentionally poisoned my dog. He has told me and I do believe him that it was a accident. That does not change the fact that my dog died an agonizing death and me and my family will have to deal with it for years to come. Come back when you grow a brain.
GreenInOC May 04, 2012 at 04:39 PM
@Marc, obviously Ray needs to take responsibility for lying to Animal Control. I have had dogs escape and it's scary and frustrating. If, during that time something had happened to them it would have been nobody's fault but my own. It doesn't sound like dogs escaping was a normal occurrence, it sounds like dogs being allowed to roam and run off leash was the standard for you and your neighbor (Atlas' owner). I grew up in San Clemente (a loooong time ago!!), and it was normal for dogs to be off leash, ours included, perhaps that's the situation in your neighborhood. Regardless, the fact remains that as the owner of the dog you are ultimately responsible for your dog's actions including harm that may befall him. It is unfortunate that Ray lied (I'm assuming he did based on only on what you are saying here), it is sad that Diablito ate poison, it's distressing that it could have been prevented by making sure he was kept safe (is there a higher level of responsibility when you have a small animal and know that any harm that may come to them could be deadly due simply to their size?), it's a shame that this will more than likely lead to hostile relations between neighbors, but in my opinion, Ray did not commit a crime against your dog. An interesting note, after reading this article I tried researching to read the laws regarding wildlife & poisons and surprisingly what I found is conflicting and nothing definite. Again, I'm sorry for your loss.
Marc Schroeder May 05, 2012 at 04:39 AM
Hey Green, thanks for taking the time to write out a well thought out response. Although I disagree with your opinion that "Ray did not commit a crime against your dog" You are entitled to it. I guess we will have to wait and see what the courts decide.
Phil Langley May 06, 2012 at 05:02 AM
Poor Marc, narcissists cannot see themselves in relation to others, only in relation to themselves. They become angry and resort to name calling whenever they are criticized, because the world exists only to please them. The product of poor parenting, they are doomed to having poor relations with others because they cannot see. So, for example, they will poop in your yard and do all sorts of horrible things to you, and unless you take the risk to tell them to stop, they will keep doing it. Marc: get some help before you get another dog. Seriously.
Phil Langley May 06, 2012 at 05:10 AM
Marc: Ps, again look at yourself. Did I assume you thought your neighbor intentionally poisoned your dog? No. You want him prosecuted according to the story, so you must think he did it intentionally so as to warrant punishment. Plus, you further suggested it might have been intentional: "I will never know whether the poison was meant for my dog. I would like to think it was not." See your post above. And you ASSumed i think poisoning is justified. Learn to read and then re-read my posts, which never said that. The narcissism will be difficult for you to overcome without treatment. You will have fewer problems if you learn that you routinely irritate other people, but they simply do not have the guts to confront you, probably because you are a bully, hostile, rude, etc. Get some help. Good luck.
Phil Langley May 06, 2012 at 05:12 AM
Marc: Reread greens post. He blamed you for the whole thing, yet you missed that! Too funny!
jeff s May 07, 2012 at 02:06 PM
"Pooping pooches and poisoning, loose dogs, lawn fouling, trespassing, angry lying weird neighbors and more". This should have the title to this story. Sorry your dog died, your neighbor owes you some $$$... And a real apology. You should own up to the dog running loose however too.. Bad deal all around..
Marc Schroeder May 08, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Phil, according to your logic? You are the "narcissist" It would be YOU who first resorted to "name-calling" Please come up with an example of any "horrible things" I have done to anyone? If you cannot? Then you are guilty of cracking walnuts in your ass.
Marc Schroeder May 08, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Nut cracker, I hope you are cleaning the shells off the floor instead of relying on your mother to do it for you. I am shocked a Genius such as you is unaware that intentional poisoning of animals, ANY animal IS a crime? That IS one of the reasons this case needs to be prosecuted and publicized. As far as your other pathetic attempt to claim that I made an ASSsumption goes, YOUR statement "poisoning is wrong and cruel, which is why it is so important to keep dogs on leashes and off of other neighbors' yards" indicates to me and any other sane person who does not suffer from reading comprehension issues that you think leaving out poison is a completely normal thing to do. I would suggest you head on down to a skate-shop and invest in some grip tape as it is obvious to me you have lost your grip on reality.
PK May 16, 2012 at 07:07 PM
What kind of dumb-ass uses poison anyway? Ya, go get them possum's Jed!
Joker Joe August 15, 2012 at 05:28 PM
jeff What a moron statement you just made! You infer that it is all right to put poison out to kill an animal! You are a loser.
Joker Joe August 15, 2012 at 05:30 PM
Val Exactly the way I see it. How ignorant can a neighbor be and live?
Joker Joe August 15, 2012 at 05:36 PM
You ignorant people don't realize that the dog is part of a house hold. It is like a child only better. They only ask for love, food and shelter. You give the distinct impression that because he was at the neighbors he should of been poisoned. For goodness sakes, where is the human race going to if this is the consensus of you people?
Marc Schroeder August 15, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Thanks for the support Bo.
Joker Joe August 15, 2012 at 06:43 PM
In that regard we are both a like. I would take no prisoners if it was my pet. Your welcome.


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