BLACKSTONE, Va. – A family is sad and angry after veterinarians said their three dogs were poisoned. Maggie Scarano said she brought her dogs in late Thursday night when they started barking; it was around midnight. Five hours later, she said they began violently vomiting.
She called the vet, and then looked around the back yard, where she said she found remnants of canned dog food. The food has since been turned over to police.
Then Scarano rushed Spoot, Moo Moo and Dude to the Lunenburg Vet Hospital. None of them survived.
At first, they were just vomiting and blood work was fairly normal, then they began to experience neurological issues.
“As the day progressed they became ataxic or unbalanced or uncoordinated and were not able to stand on their own it progressed from there,” said Dr. Brandy Ashman.
“Two of the dogs became comatose within a few hours of presenting and they were nonresponsive without some sort of stimuli, “ Ashman said. “As the day went on they became worse, they lost the pupillary light reflex.”
“They couldn’t respond to us at all by the end of the day,” she added. “We opted to euthanize the two and the third was euthanized at Dogwood Emergency Center."
The first two dogs were sent to Virginia Tech for a necropsy, along with a sample of their vomit and blood work.
“It is my feeling these dogs were intentionally poisoned,” Ashman said. “The level of ethylene glycol [antifreeze] that they had to have killed them -- the way that they did basically was intentionally given to them.”
The veterinarian said the dogs suffered “excruciating pain.”
“Antifreeze poisoning is extremely painful it causes a dog to go into kidney failure,” Ashman said. “These dogs were suffering and had no idea why; they looked at us with this helpless horrifying face.”
“We cried together and it upsets me to this day that someone would do that to those innocent dogs,” Ashman said.
The Blackstone Police Department was asked to investigate the suspected poisoning. They have spoken with the owner of the animals, the veterinarian, and the Nottoway County Health Department in attempt to obtain pertinent information about the animals symptoms and preliminary diagnoses.
“I found a plastic container that had canned dog food residue on it,” Scarano said. “I don't feed my dogs canned food.”
She said that police will see if they can get any information or fingerprints from the container.
“We know that someone has poisoned them, we know that it was a deliberate malicious poisoning,” Scarano said.
She said they were sweet animals who never harmed another human, and that her family wants justice.
“They were our family in every way, they each had their own personality and role in the house’” Scarano said. “My daughter was very attached to all three dogs.”
“I would like to see that anyone who has anything to do with this or knew about it or participated in it to be prosecuted,” she added.
Scarano not only lost all of her dogs but she said she now owes more than $5,000 in vet bills in trying to save them. She set up a GoFundMe page for people who would like to donate to help with the expenses.
“Investigation into this incident is ongoing, and interviews are being conducted in an attempt to obtain more information,” police said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Investigator Murphy who is coordinating the investigation at (434)292-3322 or contact Nottoway County Crime Solvers at (434)645-7111.