ST. CLAIR SHORES, Mich. -

A St. Clair Shores woman says the city’s efforts to curb its rat problems has led to the death of her dog.

Beth Bezenah said she had to say goodbye to her sweet, playful 7-year-old dog named Angel on March 1.

“She was part of the family. She was our baby,” she said.

The family was forced put to Angel down after she because sick.

“She was very lethargic. She wouldn’t eat. She wouldn’t drink,” Bezenah said.

Bezenah has paperwork from tests results that prove her dog died from rat poisoning and blames it on the bait boxes in the yard next to her. 

Bezenah said the house next to her’s was vacant at the time, so she doesn’t know who put the bait boxes down.

“All the water that had drained into my yard came from the neighbor’s yard and it went right through the bait box.

Bezenah said shortly after Angel passed, she met another pet lover in the neighborhood who’s dog had also just died. Bezenah said both dogs had the same symptoms.

I started thinking, ‘Do you have any bait boxes in your yard?’ She said, ‘No, but my neighbor does right against the fence,’” Bezenah said.

The growing rat population has been a problem in St. Clair Shores for years. Bezenah said she knows the city has to do something, but pets are being put at risk.

“I want to make sure it doesn’t happen to other people, that they are aware this is a possibility that your pets, heaven forbid humans …” she said.

St. Clair Shores city officials said they’ve have a baiting program for the past five years – and that the boxes are safe.