Tuesday, May 31, 2011/lk
Mother's Day celebrations turned to grief for a family in Parkdale near Billings Road with the apparent poisoning of a beloved pet - actually, the family's second pet to die within two weeks.
The Hood River County Sheriff's Department is working together with Animal Control to solve the deaths of the two dogs.
According to sheriff's reports, the most recent dog-victim, a Jack Russell terrier, came home and fell ill immediately after a short romp in a neighboring field and along the frontage road.
The family, fearing a poisoning, induced vomiting when they recognized similar symptoms to those experienced by their other dog, a red-heeler, which died mysteriously just two weeks prior.
While transporting the dog to the vet, the family saw that the dog had recently eaten large pieces of cooked pot roast - which the family had not fed him.
"I'd have to call this a deliberate act," said Det. Gerry Tiffany. "We just don't see people leaving out bait for coyotes or other nuisance animals here like they do in Eastern Oregon."
The cost of testing to determine the specific nature of the poison was cost-prohibitive - although the vet did rule out antifreeze, a common cause of accidental poisonings.
According to the sheriff's office, there have been no reports or complaints on the dogs for either nuisance or noise.
The family is offering a $2,500 reward for further information and has set up an anonymous email account where information may be left at: email@example.com.
Casey DePriest, Hood River County animal control officer, advises all dog owners to keep animals on leash and in contained outdoor environments.
"Dogs are quick. It only takes a minute for them to get into trouble," said DePriest.
According to Tiffany, causing deliberate harm or death to a companion animal is a Class C felony, leading to up to a possible five years in jail on conviction.
"We encourage anyone who has had any related animal incidents or unexplained deaths in the area to report it to us. This is something we want to know about," said DePriest.
The sheriff's department is taking information and tips at 541-386-2711. All information will be kept confidential.