Man’s Best Friend

A loyal pet hangs out in the shade while he waits for the mailman. Reports have come in to the Wharton County Sheriff’s Office about potential dog poisonings in Louise in recent weeks. Law enforcement is investigating. 

Suspicious dog deaths have been reported in Louise in recent weeks, and although what killed the animals has not yet been confirmed, law enforcement believes they were intentionally poisoned.

In mid July, the Wharton County Sheriff’s Office began its investigation after receiving a report directly from a pet owner whose animal died.

“Somebody called us and said, ‘my animal has passed, and the vet has said it’s a possible poisoning,’” Wharton County Sheriff Shannon Srubar said.

Investigators have a few leads on who could be killing the animals, but no official suspects.

“We have a few names, and as of right now, they are just names,” Srubar said. “I think we’re going to get to the bottom of this.”

The deaths of multiple pets are being investigated. The animals had similar symptoms leading up to their deaths. A lab test was conducted for a specific rat poison, but it came back negative for that poison.

“There’s still belief that the animal was poisoned, just trying to determine exactly what it was poisoned with is what the problem is,” Srubar said.

A majority of the reports that have come to WCSO have involved the animals eating chicken found outside before getting sick. Investigators think poison was put inside the chicken, and the meat was left for the animals like bait.

What the motive for these crimes would be, Srubar said he did not know.

“Anybody that does something like this, I’m not sure what else they’re capable of doing, in my opinion,” he said. “This is uncalled for, and it’s not normal to be doing something like this. We are working hard on this.”

This is not the first time WCSO has received reports of suspicious dog deaths in Louise. A pet owner reported the suspicious death of their animal in February, and reports of other unconfirmed cases circulated on social media.

“A victim called us and said that her particular animal was found dead ... and she said she’s been aware that there’s been several circumstances that are similar,” Srubar told the Leader-News in mid February.

At the time, WCSO was unsure if the animal’s death was a poisoning. Srubar said he now believes the cases in February are connected to the current reports.

Recently, WCSO stopped receiving reports of similar mysterious animal deaths.

“I believe the person or persons responsible for this ... have stopped what they’re doing because we’re looking into it,” Srubar said.

WCSO investigators are still trying to find the parties responsible.

“The last thing that we want, especially not knowing what the animal is being poisoned with, is a kid playing or somehow getting in contact with this stuff and getting injured,” Srubar said. “We hope that never occurs. It’s got to stop. Period.”

If anyone has information on this case, please contact WCSO at 979-532-1550 or anonymously report a tip to the West Wharton County Crime Stoppers at 543-TIPS.

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