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A 'hate crime'? That seems an assumption. Continual, non-stop day & night, barking may give cause. Who knows?
There's a serial dog killer on the loose... Be afraid, very afraid.
Seriously, I love dogs and would not harm them unless they were aggressive but there are so many inconsiderate owners that it's not surprising to see this. It doesn't excuse it but it's not a shock.
Poisoning doesn't instantly imply intent....
We had something like this near our old house in the UK, lots of local dogs died. Local news ran loads of stories on it. Only later did it become apparent that the poisoning was due to algae in the local lake (which all the dogs had swum in prior to their deaths).
Algae, you heartless, dog-hating bastard, you!
Now if we could see an article about all those dogs biting or trying to bite any hikers/runners every single weekend....There are trails I don't even go to anymore because of those bastards.
But I digress sorry.
As a newbie in the region it does seem that simple fear of dogs is rife in the local population. I don't think we're going to change the culture anytime soon