Police investigate alleged dog poisoning
Police are looking into allegations that someone poisoned and killed 10-year-old Hulk after sending a pair of threatening letters complaining about the dog’s barking.
“We’re looking into this very diligently,” Alameda Police Lt. Sean Lynch said.
Denise Jimenez said she got an unmarked envelope in July from someone who threatened to kill Hulk if the family didn’t stop the dog from barking. She said the family asked neighbors if the barking was a problem and bought a shock collar in an effort to quiet their dog, but they got a second letter a month later that commended the family for purchasing the collar – but said it wasn’t enough.
Jimenez said the 45-pound Hulk was “not energetic” on Thursday and lethargic and limping the next day. She said when the family brought Hulk to the veterinarian on Sunday, they were told the dog had likely ingested rat poison and would not live through the night.
The death of Hulk, who the family got at a few months old and who was named for his large paws, has been hard on Jimenez’s family and left her fearful that other members of her family could be in danger.
“I feel like this is not the neighborhood where I grew up,” said Jimenez, who said she grew up in the Santa Clara Avenue home where she now lives.
Jimenez’s neighbor, Gwen Meyer, said her neighborhood “is just freaked out and devastated by this.” She said neighbors loved Hulk and while he barked, he wasn’t the only dog in the neighborhood to do so. She said she’s now afraid to leave her own dog outside.
“Did the dog bark? Yes. Was it unbelievable? No,” Meyer said.
One of the worst parts for Jimenez’s family, she said, was that Hulk died on her son’s 18th birthday.
“We had a birthday party. We were all crying,” Jimenez said. She said Hulk usually slept in her son Zack’s bed. “He said, ‘My bed was so cold without Hulkie there,’” she said.
Jimenez’s 4-year-old grandson keeps asking her when the dog is coming back, she said. “That dog is his family. He doesn’t understand he’s gone,” she said.
The family is preparing for a Christmas that will be a little less cheery without their family dog, Jimenez said. She said she’s not ready to get another dog.
Jimenez said she never wished to disrespect a neighbor and that she wished she had the opportunity to resolve any issues over Hulk’s barking.
“I’m concerned now that I’m going to get one more letter that says, ‘I told you so,’” she said.