It is not clear whether the Haywood County poisonings were deliberate or accidental, but it is not disputed that the dogs had been allowed to roam freely and had been accused of killing poultry on neighboring farms.
In comments on a Facebook post, Barb Hladick, one of the neighbors with the dead poultry, objected to the tone of the Smoky Mountain News article and the implication that she had a motive to poison the dogs, when, instead, she had been working with animal control to resolve the matter.
From the Smoky Mountain News article:
"You have to be able to prove that the person deliberately set [the antifreeze] out and was malicious about it. Whether they were upset with the person and the animal was going to pay the price or whether they were upset with the animal," said Jean Hazzard, the director of Haywood animal control.
Hazzard said she has not seen a case of deliberate antifreeze poisoning.
"Sometimes it is not always deliberate. You would be surprised the people who don't realize that dogs will lap it up. It is sweet to a dog," Hazzard said. ...
Antifreeze tastes sweet to dogs but even the far more finicky pallets of felines have a weak spot when it comes to antifreeze, said Dr. Kristen Hammett, the owner and senior veterinarian of Waynesville Animal Hospital.
The first symptoms manifest almost immediately, with the pet essentially acting like a drunken sailor — staggering, wobbly and often throwing up. Then it clears up, leaving the owner to assume whatever had gotten into their pet is all better. But within a few hours, the irreversible damage of kidney failure has set in, with gruesome and agonizing seizures and convulsions. Blood tests and a kidney examination can confirm antifreeze poisoning.
Antifreeze tastes sweet and is palatable not only to pets but also to children, and a small amount is deadly if not treated within hours of ingestion.
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