A reward of up to $5,000 is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for using strychnine to poison and kill a Canyon County rancher’s dogs.
The Humane Society of the United States announced the offer on Friday after reports that 14 stock and guard dogs have been poisoned since April 14. Twelve of the dogs died. The most recent dog died May 30.
Officials say all of the dogs have been poisoned by strychnine, which is often used to kill gophers and other rodents.
The dogs belong to Casey Escheverria, a rancher who raises sheep and goats in the Parma area. Escheverria used the dogs to guard and herd his sheep and goats.
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“These are working stock dogs, but they were also part of our family,” said Escheverria in a news release. “One of the dogs we lost was a nursing mother and two of her puppies were also victims.”
According to autopsy reports by Dr. Brent Varriale, the dogs ingested large amounts of meatballs laced with the deadly poison.
“Strychnine is a horrible way for an animal to die,” Varriale said. “The poison paralyzes the muscles, closes off the airway and essentially these dogs all strangled to death.”
The Canyon County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the poisonings.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call (208) 454-7531.