Poisoning Your Neighbors’ Dogs Seems Like the Worst Idea

There are so very many reasons why it seems like Kenneth Hyland’s alleged plot to poison dogs with anti-freeze soaked hot dogs in Charlestown was a terrible plan. Hyland, 53, is expected to be arraigned today on the charges of animal poisoning, after neighbors say they saw the landscaper – potentially angry at the mess dogs kept leaving for him – soaking bits of hot dog in a bucket of anti-freeze, then spreading them on a lawn for dogs to eat. A sampling of our never-ending list of reasons this is a terrible idea:

  1. First of all, poisoning your neighbor’s dogs is a crime so nefarious, so cartoonishly villainous, that it is bound to earn you a tabloid-y nickname: The Herald has dubbed Hyland the (alleged) “pooch poisoner.” That just seems like a name that’s gonna stick.
  2. The Globe reports, “Neighbors reported that they saw hot dogs soaking in a bucket of blue-green liquid believed to be antifreeze while Hyland cut the lawn.” He kept the soaking hot dogs in plain sight for the neighbors to see! That seems silly, just from a getting-away-with-it standpoint. On a related note, the police report states that when an angry neighbor asked if he was trying to poison dogs, he replied, “yes.”
  3. If you’re angry about the mess your area dog owners are leaving for you to clean up (seems like a perfectly reasonable grievance if you are a landscaper) murdering the dogs doesn’t seem like it’ll work. At best, the dogs are just going to make more of a mess because they ate some bum hot dogs. At worst, they will die and dog owners, in our experience, have a tendency to get more dogs when the first ones go, especially when they depart tragically and unexpectedly.

For the latest in technology attempting to solve dog-related poo-dunnits (you’re welcome, English language)  we suggest a great This American Life on the subject of DNA testing from dog poop samples. We do not suggest poison.