MCKEESPORT (KDKA) – People in one local town are terrified that they’re about to lose their dogs.
Several dogs have fallen ill and while their owners fear they were poisoned, there may be a common household item that experts said is dangerous to your dog.
Humane Officers at Animal Friends said they’ve now received a fourth reported case of possible poisoning in the McKeesport area, but they’re still trying to determine exactly what is making the dogs so sick.
Four-year-old Vader has lost 20 pounds and his ribs are visible. He’s a boxer mix who up until a few weeks ago, was a playful healthy dog.
It started just before Memorial Day, with a Chihuahua belonging to an Animal Control officer.
Since then, it’s spread to three other cases including Vader, who is in the worst health.
Humane Officer Robert Fredley at Animal Friends has been investigating the cases and said they’re all within a block or two.
“It’s too coincidental at this point since it’s in a specific area,” Fredley said.
While the source of the sickness has yet to be identified, Officer Fredley said one of the most dangerous and poisonous household items is moth balls.
That’s just one of the things he’s looking into.
If this was an intentional poisoning, Officer Fredley said this wouldn’t have been a quick random act.
“Someone had to be methodical. They had to think it out. They had to know what they were doing. They had to think about their delivery strategy and who they were going to target,” Fredley said.
Reward signs have been posted through the area from Animal Friends, offering $200 leading to an arrest.
He encourages pet owners to seek medical attention for their dogs if they have any severe changes.
“Unfortunately, when it comes to a poisoning, unless there are specific tests done, it can mimic other things,” Fredley said.
Humane officers said if you have any information that could help in the investigation or believe your pet may have been affected, you can call their anonymous hotline.