A dog from Richer is dead after being poisoned early last week and his owner is devastated.

The most recent event in a disturbing rash of poisonings has local pet owners fearing for their animals’ lives, and RCMP officers mounting an investigation.

Danielle Delaine says her family’s two rabbits were found mysteriously dead in their cage last week Sunday and hours later their dog, Marley, began puking. Not immediately linking the two, Delaine figured her dog had just eaten his dinner too fast.

The next day though, Marley’s movements were noticeably slower, and concern began to grow. By Wednesday, the dog could hardly be coaxed out of his house with his favourite treats and, by Thursday, Delaine realized something was seriously wrong; the animal’s health was declining rapidly.

“That morning my daughter went to get the bus and she was sad because usually Marley walks her to the bus and waits with her for the bus to come but he didn’t,” explains Delaine. “Then she went to the dog house and tried to get him out but he couldn’t move. He was completely paralyzed.”

Confused and scared, Delaine loaded her canine into the back of her truck and took him to a veterinarian clinic in Steinbach. The diagnosis was far worse than she could have anticipated.

Delaine holding Marley's paw as he is euthanized. Photo credit: Danielle DelaineDelaine holding Marley's paw as he is euthanized. Photo credit: Danielle Delaine

“His temperature was really really low like he was in shock and when they did the blood work it showed that he had been poisoned. He was in complete liver and kidney failure and there was absolutely nothing they could do to save him,” recalls Delaine, holding back tears. “Right then and there we had to put him down.”

Interestingly, employees of the clinic mentioned to Delaine that this was not the first poisoning they had come across in the past month. The clinic said they preferred not to comment on this particular story.

In her grief, Delaine posted the sad news to social media where she found the vet’s story confirmed. Pet owners from Kleefeld, La Broquerie, and New Bothwell were all reporting similar instances of their dogs and cats requiring emergency operations or losing their lives as a result of poisonous materials that appeared to have been maliciously placed.

“One thing that seems to be a trend is margarine containers filled with food and antifreeze in them,” she remarks, “one lady even reported finding a napkin soaked in bacon grease with rat poison wrapped up in it.”

To Delaine, the thought of a person or group intentionally poisoning people’s animals does not make sense. Still, she feels the tragic stories seem to suggest more than a series of coincidences

“It makes me very angry. My dog wasn’t just a dog, he was a protector, he was gentle, he was loyal, he was like one of our kids. This is just senseless,” fumes Delaine, still very much distressed. “Whoever is doing this needs to stop and they need to be caught.”

Steinbach RCMP says they are aware of Delaine’s case and have confirmed that they are investigating the matter. Police have not, however, given any indication as to whether they believe this specific event is related to others like it.

Delaine, meanwhile, wants to spread the word of what happened. Until this situation is resolved, she urges owners to keep a close eye on their animals to prevent a similar fate.