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Letter writer sought in case of poisoned dog

July 29, 2004|by PEPPER BALLARD

An anonymous letter sent to the owner of a poodle poisoned in late June has sparked interest among investigators with the Washington County Sheriff's Department.

Investigator Greg Alton said the six-line, typed letter sent through U.S. mail to Eric Rosenthal, whose 18-month-old poodle, Charlie, died July 6 from antifreeze poisoning, "contains statements that interest us."

He would not give any more information about its contents.

Rosenthal, 39, who lives on Ayoub Lane in the Black Rock Estates neighborhood east of Hagerstown, has said that Charlie ate animal fat that was dipped in antifreeze on June 28. He said the tainted animal fat was found near the fence in his yard.

Charlie died at a New York City animal hospital.

His other dog, Nikki, a 2-year-old mixed collie, also was poisoned by antifreeze when she inspected the spot where Charlie had been, but she is now fine.

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Alton said the letter appeared to have been typed using a laser printer. He said he is interested in speaking to the writer about its contents.

He said that if the person who poisoned Charlie is found, he or she likely would be charged with malicious destruction of property less than $500 and a misdemeanor charge related to animal cruelty by poisoning.

"We're tracking down some leads that we like. There's nothing imminent," Alton said.

Alton asks that the writer of the letter call him at the department at 240-313-2185 or on his cell phone at 301-573-0893.

Rosenthal is offering a $5,000 reward to anyone with information leading to the arrest of the person who poisoned his dog.

On Wednesday, Rosenthal said, "Because of people coming forward in the community, the police are close."

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