Police warn pet owners of tainted marshmallows found near Farmington Hills homes

Posted at 1:33 PM, Jan 20, 2023

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. (WXYZ) — The Farmington Hills Police Department thinks someone is trying to bait and hurt local animals.

They launched an investigation after neighbors reported finding marshmallows stuffed with nails and hooks on their front lawns.

"It was actually right here on this corner, one of her favorite sniffing spots," said Dawn Smith, who lives on Hunters Whip Lane.

Lucky for Smith's dog Lucy, she didn't put the marshmallow in her mouth. Smith says her husband spotted it on the ground and was horrified to find out there were nails inside.

"My husband called the police and the police came to our house and they said that it wasn't their jurisdiction that it was the jurisdiction of the DNR and they said thank you and that was it," Smith recalled.

Lucy's discovery was reported to police in May of last year. According to Farmington Hills police, three more pet owners came forward with similar encounters.

These marshmallows have been found placed in the front yards of homes in the area of Heritage Hills Drive and Hunters Whip Lane, near 14 Mile Road and Farmington Road.

"I haven't seen this before," Farmington Hills Police Chief Jeff King said. "This is a very concentrated area to the distance of approximately five to six homes in this area, 14 Mile and Farmington (Road)."

No animals have been hurt, according to King. Erika Hatcher says her dog Diesel found one and put it in his mouth. He is OK, but it was a close call.

"Those nails going through your intestines would kill you," Hatcher said. "A child or dog."

Hatcher she has a theory as to why this person is targeting animals.

"My personal belief is that someone's mad that people are letting their dogs go to the bathroom on their yard," Hatcher said.

Whatever the motivation is, neighbors and King have a message for the person responsible.

"If this is some silly prank, please stop," King said.

Smith says she worries about the culprit's mental state.

"Get some help because this is not a good choice," Smith said.

Hatcher is asking for empathy.

"Please stop. My dog literally could be dead right now. He would not be walking on this earth because I would not have known what he ate," Hatcher said.

Police are aggressively investigating this and the person responsible could face criminal charges. Hatcher says police sent the marshmallows in for lab testing.

King says if you or your pet come across one of these marshmallows, do not touch it and call police immediately, so they can process the scene.