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Neighbor charged with fatal poisoning of three family pets

Posted at 2:53 PM, Mar 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-18 18:34:03-04

BLACKSTONE, Va. – Police have charged a man with three counts of felony animal cruelty in the deaths of three dogs that were poisoned last month. Blackstone Police charged  40-year-old William Homer Martin.

Owner Maggie Scarano always maintained that Martin, her neighbor, poisoned her beloved family pets.

family dog 9

Martin was released on bond and is scheduled to appear in court on March 23.

Scarano's dogs began violently vomiting in the early morning, just five hours after they had been outside.  There was meat and blood found in the vomit, which Scarano noted was unusual based on the food they were normally fed.

Scarano rushed them to the veterinarian, who told her to look around the house for anything that could have made the pets sick. That’s when Scarano said she found

The food was turned over to police.

Necropsy reports confirmed that Spoot, Moo Moo and Dude all died from antifreeze poisoning.

Necropsy done at Virginia Tech confirms poisoning suspicion 

The Blackstone Police Department spoke with the owner of the animals, the veterinarian, and the Nottoway County Health Department in attempt to obtain pertinent information about the animal’s symptoms and preliminary diagnoses.

Initially, the dogs were just vomiting and their blood work was fairly normal, but then they began to experience neurological issues. The veterinarian said they became “unbalanced or uncoordinated and were not able to stand on their own.”

It quickly went downhill for the dogs after that.

“Two of the dogs became comatose within a few hours of presenting and they were nonresponsive without some sort of stimuli,“ said Dr. Brandy Ashman. “As the day went on they became worse, they lost the pupillary light reflex.”

By the end of the day all three were euthanized.

“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. “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.

The first two dogs were sent to Virginia Tech for a necropsy, along with a sample of their vomit and blood work.

“These dogs were suffering and had no idea why; they looked at us with this helpless horrifying face,” Ashman said. “We cried together and it upsets me to this day that someone would do that to those innocent dogs.”

Martin was released on bond and is scheduled to appear in court on March 23.