Ohio puppy dies in suspected antifreeze poisoning

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GRATIOT, Ohio (AP) - A puppy has died after his mother was poisoned with antifreeze along with 17 other dogs belonging to a central Ohio man.

The puppy died this past week, about a month after someone poisoned 73-year-old Don Butts‘ 18 Labrador retrievers in their outdoor kennels in Gratiot, about an hour east of Columbus.

One of the dogs, named Storm, died soon after. Veterinarians were able to save the rest.

Since then, one of the surviving dogs, Kassie, gave birth.

One of her puppies died about a week later, The Advocate in Newark reported (http://ohne.ws/PBbTuP).

Butts, who breeds the dogs, said he thinks the puppy died from complications from the antifreeze its mother ingested while pregnant and that the death has brought the pain and shock over the poisoning back to the surface.

He said Kassie “is just beside herself.”

“We took this puppy away from this girl when it died, and she climbed out of the box and searched the basement, digging it all up,” Butts said. “She tore the basement apart looking for this puppy. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

On March 28, Butts and his family rushed their 18 dogs to the animal clinic after they began vomiting, collapsing and having seizures. The dogs tested positive for antifreeze.

The Licking County Humane Society is investigating. Butts is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

Although Butts said he may never know who wanted his dogs dead, he said he feels blessed.

“I had a guy call me and say, ‘Why did God let this happen?’” he said. “I told him, ‘Hey, God didn’t do this, the devil did this. God saved 17 of them.’”

Butts has changed the daily routines at the kennel, moving all the dogs closer to the family’s home for fear that the person responsible for the poisoning would return.

Butts takes the dogs outside one at a time so he can keep an eye on them. He also locks his house and takes his keys out of his car at night for the first time in 20 years.

“We’ll never get over this,” Butts said. “This is not something you forget about.”

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