Possible poisoning of puppy calls for community support
September 11, 2013
After struggling to save their 10-month-old dog's life from a possible intentional poisoning, a local family has had to make the tough decision to put that dog down this morning.
Carrie Smith, owner of the dog named Shadow, believes someone poisoned the Labrador-mix with rat poison Thursday afternoon, but is not absolutely sure.
“Well, right now how it happened is speculation because we haven’t been able to figure out if it’s for sure,” Smith said.
“He acted like he wasn’t feeling good that evening and when he was still sick that Friday morning, I took him to the vet,” Smith said. “We just moved (to the Hacienda Trailer Court) a couple of weeks ago and cleaned up the yard.”
Smith said she could not find anything Shadow could have gotten into in the closed-off yard.
Shadow’s blood sample tested positive for toxins, but Smith and veterinarians have been unable to specify exactly what the toxin is. A specialist was called in to review the blood slides but has been unable to identify the toxin as of Tuesday evening.
Shadow acted as a therapy dog for her son. Smith and her family lost their 16-year-old dog in February.
“He already lost one dog this year, and he’s heartbroken about the possibility of losing a second one,” Smith said Tuesday.
Penny Velk, the owner of Henny Penny Cupcakes, said 10 percent of her sales this week will be given to Smith to help with the piling bills from the veterinarian's office. Velk heard about Smith’s troubles when she saw Smith’s post on the Havre online yard sale page on Facebook that urged people to watch for any suspicious activity and help find who poisoned her dog.
“When I heard about this, I thought someone should help out,” Velk said. “Maybe this will bring (dog poisoning) to the forefront of the community.”
Velk sympathized with Smith in part due to a similar experience she had. A couple of years ago, someone threw a toxic rabbit into her yard, where her dogs were fenced in. Velk went outside with her dogs, who began to play with the rabbit. She took the animal away from them, bagged it and gave it to a veterinarian.
“You could just smell the chemicals coming off this thing,” Velk said. “The vet confirmed that the rabbit was toxic. The community needs to be aware there are people out there doing these things.”
“I hope they catch who’s doing this,” Velk said. “Or I hope we can send them a message, at least.”
Smith said her veterinary bills amounted to $500 Monday morning and were probably up to $800 as of Tuesday afternoon.
The dog was not eating very well and his health was fluctuating since Thursday.
This morning, Smith said, “Shadow has gotten weaker and we can’t watch him suffer anymore. We are going to have to put him to sleep.”