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Dog owner sure poisonings were intentional

1/31/2014

By MIKE CORN

By MIKE CORN

mcorn@dailynews.net

It's not the first time Andrea Keeler has watched as a family pet took its last breath.

She just didn't realize a dog that died three years ago could have been poisoned until two more family pets died in December, the result of strychnine poisoning.

Keeler's positive this isn't an accident, based on circumstances surrounding the incident.

Ellis County Sheriff Ed Harbin said they've found little to go on, including how three dogs might have gotten into the poison.

That's why he's concerned a child might stumble upon the strychnine responsible for killing the dogs.

Keeler and her family lost two family pets in December, not long after the Labrador retrievers returned home after accidentally getting out of their Prairie Acres backyard.

As the health of the two dogs deteriorated, they were rushed to Dr. Steve Mosier's veterinary clinic. Mosier, she said, just had seen a Chihuahua about an hour earlier, also from Prairie Acres, exhibiting similar symptoms.

Mosier took samples and confirmed strychnine was the cause. He contacted the Ellis County Sheriff's office to report the poisonings, she said.

Deputies haven't been able to find out where, or how, the three dogs were able to obtain the poison.

Keeler said she has an idea.

"Dogs have been mysteriously dying over the years," she said of the Prairie Acres area.

She's just now learning that.

Keeler said she contacted the Humane Society of the United States, hoping to boost awareness of the poisonings to her two dogs and that of another family's dog in the area.

"I'm the one who contacted the Humane Society," she said. "I'm the one that started everything."

HSUS is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible.

"If I never know who did this, I will be fine," Keeler said. "I just want them to stop."

After the incident, Keeler said, she started having neighbors coming to her door and suggesting they knew who might have been responsible for the dogs' deaths.

Keeler won't say who it might be, but she said the neighbor has been interviewed by the sheriff's office.

"I would like this to be an accident," she said. "But three dogs in one day? I don't think so."