DENTON, England— Natalie Johnson woke up to a horrifying surprise when she found blue-colored vomit and feces around her home in early June.
The culprit was her German Shepherd, Sheeba, who was feeling ill and rushed immediately to the local veterinarian where she was given pain medication.
Sheeba acted as a best friend and guardian over Johnson’s son, a young autistic boy. The family was baffled as to why their dog was ill, as she was on a very strict diet. Things started to come to light when Johnson’s son said he noticed a strange plastic bag in the back garden containing ‘blue bits’. They quickly found the bag and rushed it to the veterinarian’s office.
Laboratory tests revealed the bag contained a dangerous mixture of cat meat, laced with paracetamol, rodent and slug poison as well as lawn fertilizer.
Sheeba was placed on I.V. fluids, and was diagnosed with liver damage. But despite her care, she was not getting better, and after several days, the vets decided it was time to operate.
The surgeons found that the poison had completely eaten away at her intestines, erupted her bowel and caused internal bleeding. The damage was beyond repair, and they decided the most humane thing to do was to end her suffering and euthanize her.
Johnson can’t believe she would be a target of such a heinous crime, saying that since it was her garden, the bag had obviously been thrown in.
“My youngest doesn’t understand, but knows he won’t be coming back. My eldest has got autism and she was his best friend. He knows she is gone, but he doesn’t know why or what happened. He takes everything literally so he thinks she had died of old age.”
Johnson and her family are heartbroken about what happened to their beloved dog and have heard reports of other dogs being poisoned in the area. The incident has been reported to the police, and hopefully through community and police efforts, the criminals will be found and brought to justice.
It is important to check your yard often for strange things your dog could ingest. And a command like “leave it” or “drop it” could easily save their lives.