March 6, 2009
Reward Offered in Intentional Poisoning of Two Idaho Dogs
The Humane Society of the United States is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the poisoning deaths of two Sandpoint, Idaho dogs.
News reports give the following account: On Jan. 30, Scooby, a Labrador retriever/Rhodesian ridgeback-mix dog, was found having uncontrollable seizures and fighting for every breath. His guardians, who found Scooby in distress after work, attempted to rush their dog to the veterinarian, but he died in their arms en route. Attempts to revive him were futile, and the vet expressed concern at how quickly such a healthy and active dog became ill. At that point, the owners realized that when they arrived home, they hadn't seen their other dog, Chloe, a miniature Pomeranian, and rushed back to find her.
After searching her favorite hiding places, the couple found Chloe dead, lying under her guardians' bed. It was estimated the dog died a few hours earlier. At the request of their veterinarian, necropsies were performed on each dog. Chunks of raw meat and pellets that resembled the chemical strychnine were found in their stomachs. The contents of their stomach and tissue samples were sent to the University of Idaho, where it was confirmed that the pellets were indeed strychnine and that the concentrations were high.
Getting the serious attention of law enforcement, prosecutors and the community in cases involving allegations of cruelty to animals is an essential step in protecting the community. The connection between animal cruelty and human violence is well documented. Studies show a correlation between animal cruelty and all manner of other crimes, from narcotics and firearms violations to battery and sexual assault.
"Whoever is responsible for this incident might be capable of hurting not only more animals, but people, too," said Lisa Kauffman, The HSUS' Idaho state director. "To use any poison to kill an animal, especially one as lethal as strychnine, is incredibly cruel. These were two beloved family pets that went through hours of intense pain and fear before dying horrible deaths. Their owners are devastated. These dogs were like children to them and we need to prosecute those responsible."
The Sandpoint City Police Department is investigating. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Officer Mark Ogg at (208) 263-3188.
The HSUS Animal Cruelty Campaign raises public awareness and educates communities about the connection between animal cruelty and human violence while providing a variety of resources to law enforcement agencies, social work professionals, educators, legislators and families. The HSUS offers rewards in animal cruelty cases across the country and works to strengthen laws against animal cruelty. To see our journalists' animal cruelty resource guide, which includes information on statistics, trends, laws and animal cruelty categories, go to: humanesociety.org/crueltyresources.
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.