Tuesday, May 5, 2015 • Vets confirm Leavitt Lake dog poisoning

Publisher’s note: This story originally appeared in the Tuesday, May 5, 2015 edition of the Lassen County Times.

Raider, a purebred boxer who lived with his family in Leavitt Lake, is dead — the victim of poisoning.

Raider’s owner Crystal Couso said Raider was one of two pet boxers the family owns, and the other dog was unharmed. She also suspects other animals in the area have been poisoned as well.

Couso said Raider never left the family yard or roamed through the neighborhood, so she believes someone threw the D-Con (rodent poison) that took his life over the fence and Raider ate it. In fact, he was chained up in the backyard for several days before he became ill.

Couso said Raider seemed fine, ate dinner and then got sick. After that he wouldn’t eat or drink. When she noticed Raider was acting funny, she took him to a veterinarian in Susanville who hydrated him and sent him home.

When Raider didn’t improve, she took him to another veterinarian, and the suspicions arose that he may have been poisoned with either D-Con or antifreeze. Couso said neither of those substances is present in her home or garage.

In a valiant effort to save his life, Couso said Raider also was treated by a veterinarian in Chico and then she took him to two emergency animal hospitals in Reno before the decision was made to put him down due to fatal renal failure from which he could never recover.

Couso said one of the veterinarians in Reno confirmed Raider had been poisoned with D-Con, and that he had lost 75 percent of his kidney function. She reported the poisoning to the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office.

She said a number of other Leavitt Lake residents suspect their animals may have been poisoned as well, according to postings on the Internet. She said she believe three or four animals may have been poisoned in the last year.

Couso said it’s always difficult to lose a pet, and it would be easier to accept if he had gotten out of the yard and been hit by car, for example, but Raider’s poisoning has hit her family hard.

Anyone with any information about dog poisoning in the Leavitt Lake area should call the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office.