Local News

Several Dogs Poisoned by Tainted Meat

Posted March 7, 2007 4:49 p.m. EST
Updated March 7, 2007 7:36 p.m. EST

— Maxton authorities are investigating the deaths of at least nine dogs whose bodies have been found in their owners' yards since November.

The dogs have all died in a two-block area in the Robeson County town. Three of resident Enrique Poorua’s dogs died in late November after becoming violently ill from eating meat that Poorua said was tossed into his back yard.

"I found this half-cooked piece of steak, and it was in this area over here,” Poorua said.

He told WRAL that he believes the steak killed one of his boxers and nearly killed another. He said he also found chicken pieces, which he killed two schnauzers.

The vet who treated the surviving boxer told Poorua the dog was poisoned, possibly by strychnine.

In January, the owner of this property found a hot dog wrapped in foil lying in his backyard. He found his dog lying next to it, dying.

"Most of the dogs we have picked up have shown the same symptoms,” said Maxton Police Chief Paul McDowell.

The poisoned animals began vomiting and their organs shut down.

"The way it occurs, the dogs die within 45 minutes,” McDowell said.

Michael Strickland said he let his two chihauhuas out for a potty break last week.

"They went across the street over there and came back,” Strickland said. “When they came back, they were sick, throwing up, staggering on their legs."

Strickland found another one of his dogs lying dead on the edge of his lawn.

County animal cruelty investigators told residents to let them know if they see anything suspicious and to stay with their pets when the animals are outdoors.

McDowell said someone is out to kill dogs. He said investigators have some leads, but didn't disclose details.

Both Strickland and Poorua said they no longer allow their remaining dogs outside alone.