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Caffeine suspected in ‘treat’ that sickens dogs in Rye, N.H.

Police in Rye, N.H. are urging dog owners to keep a watchful eye on their pets, since more than a dozen dogs became sick after eating something that possibly contained caffeine while walking on a popular stretch of beach.

Since November, 14 dogs got sick, and one more died, after eating a “treat/food like item” while walking between Wallis Road Extension and Wallis Sands State Beach, Rye police said in a statement Wednesday.

The owner of the dog that died brought the treat, along with the deceased dog, for testing to the New Hampshire Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, police said. Evidence was then sent to a veterinary diagnostic lab in Michigan.

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Lab results showed caffeine detected in both the dog and item, Corporal Mark Webster said in a brief phone interview Wednesday night.

The results need to be further evaluated to confirm that the caffeine amounts are consistent with each item submitted for testing, police said.

Rye police urged dog owners to be aware of their dogs’ actions and to be close enough to control their dogs and be observant of their behaviors.

Police are asking anyone with information to call 603-964-5522 or to send a tip to Seacoast Crime Stoppers.


Andrew Stanton can be reached at andrew.stanton@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @_andrewstanton.