ONLY ON ABC-7: Dogs tested for toxins after violent deaths

Vet told ABC-7 the dogs had ingested an unknown substance that caused liver failure

ONLY ON ABC-7: Boxers death

EL PASO, Texas - A viewer reached out to ABC-7 saying his dogs also died after ingesting a toxin.

Charles Liddic said he saw ABC-7's story on the deaths of two family pets last week and wanted people to know that it may not have been an isolated incident.

The Solis family lost two dogs May 31. Tests showed the dogs had antifreeze in their system.

Charles Liddic recounted the beginning of the end for his dogs: Boxers Lulu, 2 and Daisy, 3.

"She got up and she started vomiting," Liddic said, talking about when Lulu started showing signs something was wrong May 29.

"I got up and cleaned it up but it was just continuous, all night long. It just seemed like every five minutes she vomiting."

Both dogs were eventually exhibiting signs of severe illness like bleeding and seizures.

Lulu died first under a vet's care Friday morning. By that time, Daisy was already at the vet's office. The Liddics eventually took Daisy to an animal emergency hospital Friday evening.

"The phone rang ... he said, this is the animal clinic, and I just want to let you know that Daisy has passed. And that was 8 o'clock Saturday morning," Liddic said, his voice cracking. He paused before continuing, his voice shaking, "So I lost two in the 24 hours."

The Liddics consider their pets their children. They plan to put the ashes of Lulu and Daisy on a shelf in their kitchen, which has become a shrine to pets they've lost. Urns for two other dogs already sit on the shelf, along with mementos.

"I call myself the annex of the Humane Society because we have six dogs," Liddic said.

"People always look at you like, what are you doing with six dogs? They act like you're growing a horn out of your head. They were our family. ... I don't know what would make anybody do anything like that," Liddic added, saying he believes the dogs were killed. 

Liddic said he had no problems with his next-door neighbor but he had suspicions someone had poisoned the dogs to gain access to his home.

"It's human nature to get suspicious when an animal gets poisoned, to think there was some malicious intent," said veterinarian Dr. Pete Koplos.

"There are some times when it's the truth, when somebody did this. I don't think it happens as often as one might think."

Koplos treated Daisy at the Animal Emergency Care Center. He said it was definitely a toxin that caused her death, but is not sure what that toxin was.

Koplos said some toxins commonly known to cause dogs deaths are rodent killers, poisonous plants like oleanders, or even moldy food. Koplos advised pet owners to keep pets inside a fenced yard.

"If somebody sets out to poison an animal that can happen, even in a backyard," Koplos said. "But it happens most of the time because they're roaming and loose."

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