Henrico neighbors say their dogs were poisoned in their own yards: ‘It’s frightening’

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- A Henrico neighborhood is on edge after they say five dogs were poisoned in their own yards.

Neighbors say it happened at two different homes in the 2200 block of Rawlings street in the Montrose Heights community.

“I thought he was going to perish… thought he was going to die,” said Charlie Barnes of his dog Sabii.

Sabii

“They weren’t even sure she was going to survive,” said Susan Cole of her dog Riley.

In December, Susan Cole said her dog Riley, her other two dogs and her son’s dog fell suddenly ill after coming in from her fenced yard.

“They had been poisoned,” said Cole. “Riley was the worst one, apparently she ate enough that it affected the blood system and she was hemorrhaging pretty bad,” she said. “She wouldn’t eat. She could barely move. There was blood in her eyes, blood coming out of her mouth and her feces were really bad.”

Riley

Six weeks later, across the street, Charlie Barnes’ dog Sabii would lay lifeless in the same veterinary hospital as Coles’ dogs and was given the same diagnosis.

“They ran a bunch of tests on him and said it was rat poison,” said Barnes.

Abnormal labs confirmed the dogs were losing blood and needed to be treated for suspected poisoning.

“We went two weeks on 15 pills a day,” said Cole. “I had to force feed her. It was very hard to get food in her with a syringe,” she added.

Sabii

But the neighbors say what’s even harder is knowing whoever did this is still out there.

“It makes you very uneasy and you constantly have to stay on your toes,” said Barnes. “It’s very concerning that we can’t let them out in the morning without checking and walking in the yard to make sure there’s been nothing thrown over the fence.”

“It’s frightening, they like to go outside. You let them outside, that’s their area and you can’t unless you are with them,” said Cole.

“One is too many and you could chalk it up to well they got ahold of something an exterminator left, two starts getting curious, but when you have five, that’s somebody intentionally and maliciously trying to kill people’s dogs,” said Barnes.

Charlie Barnes

Two of the five dogs were treated. All are doing better.

Barnes and Cole spent hundreds of dollars in vet bills to save their animals.

Police reports were filed in both cases. Cole said she provided police with home security video of a man throwing something over her fence.