June 3, 2014 6:55 pm

Family mourns the loss of poisoned pets

The owner of two dogs poisoned to death last week is speaking out.

Hank Wolters is still in shock after losing both of his beloved pets in the same day.

“It’s changed our life. It’s brought fear into our life. It’s hard,” Mr. Wolters says.

Wolters and his wife never thought their home would become a place of dark memories, but after both of their miniature schnauzers died of strychnine poisoning they now dread the missing sounds of their two playful companions.

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“This is totally unnecessary and I just can’t understand it,” adds Wolters.

Wolters says he was out for his daily walk with the two dogs in his north Lethbridge neighbourhood. Within minutes of returning home, both pets took a turn for the worse.

“The dogs seemed fine until I got in the house, then within a couple of minutes they started to have seizures and spasms.”

He rushed the mini schnauzers to the pet hospital, but one-year-old Teddy and five-year-old Phoebe died on the way.

Dr. Rod McFarlane with Highland Pet Hospital says the fast acting poison can cause death within minutes.

“It affects the central nervous system. It basically stops their ability to breath, they die of asphyxiation. It’s a pretty horrific way to die,” Dr. McFarlane says.

Police are urging people to be aware of any unusual items found in backyards or walkways after a second suspected poisoning last week.

“A north side resident reported her two large dogs became ill. In that case there was no immediate evidence to definitively conclude poisoning, but the circumstances are certainly suspicious,” adds Kristen Harding with the Lethbridge Regional Police.

With the investigation continuing, Harding says it’s not just pets that could be at risk. Parents with small children should also be cautious.

“If we have somebody out there putting poison laced food out, it’s possible children could come into contact with that and could be harmed as a result.”

Knowing his dogs could have been killed deliberately is hard to absorb for Wolters, but he hopes by speaking out a similar tragedy can be avoided.

“Maybe somebody will see something and it will prevent somebody else from having the same pain,” he says.

It’s not known if the dogs were poisoned in the backyard of Wolters property, or during the walk.

Anyone with information is asked to contact LRPS at 403-328-4444, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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