Reward offered in dog's poisoning

July 03, 2004|By PEPPER BALLARD

A Hagerstown man is offering a reward of $5,000 to anyone with information about poisoned animal fat found in his backyard that placed his dog, Charlie, in a New York City animal hospital.

Eric Rosenthal, 39, who lives on Ayoub Lane in the Black Rock Estates neighborhood east of Hagerstown, said that he is "concerned about people who have pets in the community or have small children."

Pamphlets of warning passed out to his neighbors say, "Somebody is poisoning our pets in the community."

Two birds in the neighborhood and a cat, found on steps to a house across the street from Rosenthal, have been found dead in the neighborhood this week, he said.


Rosenthal, said that on Monday morning, Charlie, an 18-month-old poodle, was let out at 9 a.m. to roam in Rosenthal's fenced backyard while he took his children to camp.

Rosenthal's wife, Shawn, brought Charlie inside the house at 10:30 a.m., but the poodle couldn't stand on his hind legs and he was drinking a lot of water.

"My wife ? she knew right away he was poisoned," he said.

After Charlie was taken to a local veterinarian, his wife took their other dog, Nikki, a 2-year-old mixed collie, out in the yard to investigate. Nikki found "tiny green pieces of rubbery substance" on the ground near the fence and Shawn Rosenthal collected the pieces and brought them to Mid-Atlantic Veterinary Hospital to be tested.

Eric Rosenthal said that Charlie's test came back positive for antifreeze poisoning and the substance was identified as laced animal fat.

After taking both dogs to "the Johns Hopkins of animal hospitals," called V.C.A., in Gaithersburg, Md., Nikki eventually returned home, but Charlie was taken to the Animal Medical Center in New York City, where he is being treated with dialysis for failing kidneys.

Rosenthal said that he rushed Charlie, who had tubes attached to him, to Manhattan early Tuesday. Now, Rosenthal said, Charlie's chances for survival are 20 percent to 50 percent. He said Charlie's hospital stay could cost about $15,000. He said that Charlie still is not eating.

He's going to New York this weekend to visit Charlie.

Animal control officers from the Humane Society of Washington County took a report, the Washington County Sheriff's Department took a report and a HAZMAT team investigated the area where the animal fat was found, Rosenthal said.

An animal control officer took the dead cat to the Humane Society and will send its body for an autopsy, Rosenthal said.

Rosenthal asks anyone with information on who might have poisoned his dogs to call him at 301-791-4562 or 301-964-7838.

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