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Humane society offers reward for information in dog poisonings




A $5,000 reward is being offered by the Humane Society of the United States for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever was responsible for the December poisoning of three dogs west of Hays.

The three dogs -- two labrador retrievers and a chihuahua owned by two families living in the Prairie Acres housing development west of Hays -- apparently were poisoned by strychnine, Ellis County Sheriff Ed Harbin said.

While it's not known if the poisonings were accidental or intentional, Harbin said the hope is the reward might prompt someone to provide information into the investigation.

It's not known, he said, how the three dogs were able to access the poison or where it was located.

All three dogs were loose at the time the poisonings occurred.

The poisonings happened Dec. 18, and were reported to the sheriff's office a day later.

The Labrador retrievers apparently were accidentally let out, Harbin said, rather than remaining in a backyard, and roamed the area for approximately an hour. For the Chihuahua, it was a routine venture outdoors.

"They ended up getting poisoned," Harbin said. Deputies have "been checking around to see if it's accidental."

That possibility has turned up negative.

Without any further information, the owners turned to the Humane Society, which has been working with sheriff's Deputy Garrett Brening, who investigated the incident.

HSUS announced the $5,000 reward Wednesday.

Harbin said the dogs tested positive for the presence of strychnine.

The presence of the poison -- especially not knowing how the dogs gained access to it -- is a concern for Harbin.

Anyone with information about the poisonings is asked to call the sheriff's office at (785) 625-1040.