Overland Park dog owners believe Golden Retriever was poisoned

Posted at 11:47 AM, Nov 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-30 19:00:17-05

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — The Wexlers were so excited to bring their newly adopted dog to their home on Switzer Road in Overland Park.

They brought the 1-year-old Golden Retriever-Labrador mix home on Thursday, but by Monday morning the dog had died.

The Wexlers said they suspected their dog was poisoned, something Overland Park police are hearing a lot of lately.

“We’ve received a lot of reports so far that they suspected their dog was poisoned,” said Officer John Lacy of the Overland Park Police Department.

The dog, named Bear, was a gift for their daughter.

“She had really been wanting a golden retriever and it seemed to be a perfect fit,” said Michelle Adler-Wexler.

But, just days after they brought the dog home, Bear became sick.

“He started acting lethargic, and started drinking a lot of water Sunday afternoon. Like bowls and bowls of water,” said Adler-Wexler.

Bear became sicker as the day went on, and by the time the family tried to get him to the vet, it was too late.

“The minute we went over to pick him up, he passed away as we were putting him in the car,” said Adler-Wexler.

His symptoms could mean several things, including the possibility of poison ingestion.

“Something to always look for is just a change in behavior initially. Sometimes acting more lethargic. Sometimes gastrointestinal problems like vomiting or diarrhea,” said Dr. Brad Twigg from Plaza Animal Clinic.

Those same symptoms could also be a sign of other problems.

“There’s like hundreds of things that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, blood stool in dogs. It’s more knowing the exposure and ruling out other things that possibly could’ve happened first,” said Twigg.

Overland Park police told 41 Action News they have no proof that dogs are being poisoned, dispelling families’ fears.

“We’ve not received any confirmed reports saying the dogs were poisoned,” said Officer Lacy.

Police encourage anyone who is concerned to take their dog to a vet.

“We’re asking the public to take their dog to the vet and have your vet look at the dog, and if the dog was poisoned then we will investigate,” said Officer Lacy.

The Wexlers said they feel strongly that their dog was poisoned and have informed their neighbors to be vigilant.

Overland Park police said a man found a packaged steak on a sidewalk on Thursday. Due to the growing concern over pet poisoning, that steak has been sent to a lab to be tested.

Bear was adopted from Midwest Animal Rescue. When he passed away, the Wexlers took him there.

The agency then took the dog to Crain Veterinarian in Grain Valley for a toxicology exam, but too much time had passed and it could not be completed. Instead, a necropsy, an autopsy for a dog, was done. The results were inconclusive.

However, the owners said a toxicology test was done, and it showed toxins in the dog’s system.