Tahlequah Daily Press

January 31, 2014

Four dog poisoning cases near Woodall under investigation

Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office deputies are investigating the possible poisoning of several dogs in the Woodall area.

David Camden contacted the Daily Press, saying he awoke Thursday to discover his dog was violently ill. Camden immediately took the pet to Dr. Bill Elliott, a local veterinarian.

“I found out that mine was the third dog from the Woodall area Elliott had seen since Wednesday night,” said Camden. “He said it was anti-freeze poisoning, and told me that the other two dogs had died.”

Camden left his dog with the Elliott, and when he returned home, he noticed a fourth dog exhibiting the same behavior.

“They have extreme vomiting, loss of orientation and balance; it’s almost like they’re drunk,” said Camden. “I contacted the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, and they are looking into it. I also called the Humane Society of Cherokee County to come get the other dog. If he doesn’t get treatment soon, like by the end of the day, he’ll be dead, too.”

Elliott confirmed Camden’s recounting of the situation.

“Yes, there have been three affected dogs in that neighborhood,” said Elliott. “I understand there’s a fourth, and it’s not a good deal. They’re all going to do die. I hate to be blunt. I’m pretty sure it was anti-freeze, but whatever it was wiped out their renal function totally.”

Elliott said he was aware the CCSO is investigating, but added that proving who had poisoned the animals would be difficult.

“It’s just frustrating,” said Elliott. “When the first one came in [Wednesday] night, I thought it might be age-related, but when the second one came in with the same test results, I knew it had to be poisoning.”

Sheriff’s Deputy Don Perry said two pet owners have filed reports about the possible poisoning of pets.

“They’re evidently poisoning them with antifreeze; we talked to one suspect, but he denied anything,” said Perry.

“If we could find any evidence, we can file charges, but so far, we haven’t found any containers, no antifreeze.”

Perry said his initial investigation will likely be passed on to a sheriff’s investigator. Anyone with information about the poisoning of animals in the Woodall area is asked to call Perry at (918) 456-2583.

Despite Elliott’s grim diagnosis, Camden holds out hope that his dog will survive.

“I love my dog,” said Camden. “Hopefully, he’ll live through this. We have our suspicions about who might be poisoning the animals, but can’t say anything until we know for sure.”

Staff Writer Josh Newton contributed to this story.