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Claiborne detectives investigate poisoned dogs

7:20 PM, Jan 12, 2011   |    comments
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Most of the dogs in Claiborne County's Straight Creek Community are friendly enough and aren't much of a bother to anyone.

It's that fact that has Maynard Brooks so disgusted about what happened to his dog 'Shep'.

Brooks took in the Shepherd/Collie mix when he showed up as a stray.  But the dog came home sick one night so Brooks took him to the veterinarian the next day.

"They were doing tests on him and he died right there on the table.  They were injecting him trying to get him through and he didn't make it," Brooks said.

After seeing neighbors' dogs face similar deaths, Brooks ordered a necropsy in December, an autopsy for dogs.

"This has been going on a long time and we intend to stop it, whatever it takes," he said.

That test came back showing, furadan, a pesticide and poison used for fertilizer likely killed Shep.

"Yes, it's rough," Brooks said.  "It was a real brutal death the way my dog died and we'd like to see the guy put behind bars."

That's where Detective Bobby Morelock fits in.  So far, three families have filed police reports as part of a case he and a team of the Claiborne County Sheriff's Office are investigating.  Neighbors say despite just three formal reports, they believe anywhere from 10-15 dogs are victims of someone who is intentionally poisoning the family pets.

"To go to that extent to just kill and animal is unheard of," Morelock said.

Brooks believes someone is actually baiting the animals in the community and worries it might not just be dogs that could get sick, or worse.  Children who play in yards and ride bikes on the rural roads could stumble upon the poison too.

"We get a lot of out of state people here and we don't want that taste in their mouth. To come to Claiborne County Tennessee with their animals that they've had for years and then something like this happens," Morelock said.

If they find out whoever is responsible, they'll likely face animal cruelty charges.

"They need to be behind bars or they need to take a dose of the furadan themselves," Brooks said.

Detectives ask if you know anything that might help in the investigation, please call Claiborne County's Sheriffs Office at 423-626-3385.

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