PORTLAND A popular Portland park has been closed until further notice while authorities investigate the mysterious illnesses of dogs that recently visited the park.

Soil samples have been collected from Hillsdale Park, SW 27th Avenue and Hillsdale Highway, due to the possibility of unauthorized chemical use in the park, according to a statement released by Portland Parks and Recreation.

The soil will be tested at a laboratory for pesticides or other chemicals not usually present in the park.

Portland Parks & Recreation does not use pesticides intended to kill or remove animals. Bureau investigators are looking into whether unauthorized chemicals may have been introduced into the park, said Public Information Officer Mark Ross, with Portland Parks & Recreation.

A number of people reported that their dogs became sick after visiting the off-leash area at Hillsdale Park.

As soon as PP&R staff can determine that the park is safe for use, it will be reopened, Ross said.

Anyone wanting more information was encouraged to call PP&R at 503-823-5300 or visit the website.

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