McKEESPORT (KDKA) — Pet owners in one McKeesport community say they are concerned that someone may be poisoning dogs in their neighborhood.

At least one family is afraid they are going to have put their dog down because he is so sick; and others are afraid to even let their dogs outside.

Four-year-old Vader is suffering. A few days before Memorial Day, his owner believes he may have been poisoned.

He has been sick ever since, losing weight – now up to 20 pounds – and his organs aren’t working like the should. He’s lethargic and sleeps most of the time.

“At this point, I just think he’s suffering. At first, we didn’t realize anything was wrong, he was just drinking a lot,” said Kara Cella, Vader’s owner.

The veterinarian found toxins in his blood that affected his liver and kidneys. He gets an IV flush every night, but the family isn’t sure what the future is going hold for Vader.

Animal Friends is offering a reward because there’s a belief in this McKeesport neighborhood that several other dogs may have been given something tainted.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” said Ashley Greenwald, a neighbor. “You come outside and you don’t think about having to look in your yard.”

The idea that someone may be targeting dogs hits home.

“It’s family. Your dogs are family,” said Joe Procacina, a neighbor.

No one knows that better than Vader’s family. They’ll find out by Monday or Tuesday if he’s going pull through or if they’re going to have to put down.

“Heartbreak, absolute heartbreak,” said Cella, of the situation. “The kids, my husband – a lot of tears shed; and if somebody did this to him and the other dogs, pure anger.”

There is a $200 reward being offered for anyone who might have information about what is happening to dogs in McKeesport.

If you have any information, you are asked to contact Animal Friends or the McKeesport police.

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Lynne Hayes-Freeland