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.