By Marlena Hartz: CNJ staff writer
Three dogs in a Clovis neighborhood were poisoned Sunday with a household chemical wrapped in uncooked bacon.
One family is mourning the loss of a beloved pet as a result.
Divot, a small, Lhasa apso mix owned by the Curtis family, died Monday afternoon after ingesting organo-phosphate, a chemical found in, among other things, lawn fertilizers and flea and tick killer, according to the Clovis veterinarian who treated the dog, Dr. Kristine Weaver of All Pets.
The poisoned bait was placed inside the fence of the Curtis residence, located near Norris Street, according to Divot’s owner, Leonard Curtis.
“This has been absolutely devastating,” Curtis said.
Curtis said he found Divot dead in his yard on Monday morning, lying in a pile of mucus, with blood trickling through his nose. He had taken his other Lhasa apso mix to the vet earlier that morning after the dog began shaking uncontrollably, he said.
When Weaver performed an autopsy on Divot, she said she discovered bacon remnants and organo-phosphate in his stomach, which caused his respiratory system to fail.
Another dog owned by the Curtis’ neighbors was also treated Monday for organo-phosphate poisoning, Weaver said. The dogs were given charcoal to absorb the poison, their stomachs were pumped, and they were given intravenous fluids, Weaver said. The two dogs have been released from the vet and are in stable condition, she said.
“Someone did this to these dogs, and as a pet owner, it is pretty scary,” Weaver said.
Curtis said his family is shaken by the poisoning, and the death of a dog they considered a family member.
“Divot was very playful and full of spunk,” Curtis said. “He was absolutely a family member. Both of the dogs would sit in the house with us. They always had a seat on the couch or in our laps. They listen to our problems, and never talk back.”
Curtis said his dogs were kept inside most of the time, but they did occasionally bark if left alone outside. The family had received a couple complaints from neighbors about the noise. They monitored their dogs closely, he said, in response.
Weaver said she commonly treats pets for poisoning, but rarely is it intentional, as in this case.
The Curtises alerted the police to the poisoning and a report on the incident was pending Tuesday afternoon, officials said.
Louisa Maestas, a supervisor at the City of Clovis Animal Control division, said there has not been an increase of suspicious animal deaths in the area.
Maestas said poisoning an animal is felony.