Detective calls dog poisoning ‘deliberate act’

May 14, 2011

Mother's Day celebrations turned to grief for a family in Parkdale near Billings Road with the apparent poisoning of a beloved pet - actually, the family's second pet to die within two weeks.

The Hood River County Sheriff's Department is working together with Animal Control to solve the deaths of the two dogs.

According to sheriff's reports, the most recent dog-victim, a Jack Russell terrier, came home and fell ill immediately after a short romp in a neighboring field and along the frontage road.

The family, fearing a poisoning, induced vomiting when they recognized similar symptoms to those experienced by their other dog, a red-heeler, which died mysteriously just two weeks prior.

While transporting the dog to the vet, the family saw that the dog had recently eaten large pieces of cooked pot roast - which the family had not fed him.

"I'd have to call this a deliberate act," said Det. Gerry Tiffany. "We just don't see people leaving out bait for coyotes or other nuisance animals here like they do in Eastern Oregon."

The cost of testing to determine the specific nature of the poison was cost-prohibitive - although the vet did rule out antifreeze, a common cause of accidental poisonings.

According to the sheriff's office, there have been no reports or complaints on the dogs for either nuisance or noise.

The family is offering a $2,500 reward for further information and has set up an anonymous email account where information may be left at:

Casey DePriest, Hood River County animal control officer, advises all dog owners to keep animals on leash and in contained outdoor environments.

"Dogs are quick. It only takes a minute for them to get into trouble," said DePriest.

According to Tiffany, causing deliberate harm or death to a companion animal is a Class C felony, leading to up to a possible five years in jail on conviction.

"We encourage anyone who has had any related animal incidents or unexplained deaths in the area to report it to us. This is something we want to know about," said DePriest.

The sheriff's department is taking information and tips at 541-386-2711. All information will be kept confidential.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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