Tennessee man says family's 7-week-old puppies were potentially poisoned

Tennessee man woke up Monday morning to find one of his 7-week-old puppies dead in his driveway, and the other three not at all like their playful selves. (Image: WTVC)

The Marion County Sheriff's Office is now investigating how one puppy died and three others were critically injured in a Whitwell neighborhood.

Sam Parsons, the owner of the 7-week-old puppies, told our affiliate WTVC that he found one of the pups dead in his driveway on Monday morning. Parsons said the other three puppies were very lethargic and not like their normal, playful selves.

"I just hope they pull through," Parsons said. "Poor little things. They sure didn’t deserve this."

Parsons believes his neighbor is behind it.

"As I came home [from work], poked around the yard, I found some trails of bread and some junk in the yard that’s usually not there," Parsons said.

He went to investigate and took a video on his neighbor's property without permission. He said he found a bowl with food, bread, and what appeared to be anti-freeze, which can be deadly to dogs.

"Almost killed them, and it possibly has - they may not make it still," Parsons said.

He showed that video to his Veterinarian Colleen Smith. She examined the puppies and said they did show health problems consistent with ingesting anti-freeze.

"Two of them - the urine did look pretty clean," Dr. Smith said. "One of them did have crystals in the urine already."

She said if the dogs did in fact eat a small amount of anti-freeze, they should be able to recover. She said it'll take at least another 24 hours to fully figure out what they may have eaten.

WTVC reached out to Parsons' neighbors, who said in a statement that they have had issues with Parsons' adult dogs because they've been aggressive and on their property.

"We were told we had the right to harm the larger dogs if they came on our property, but we have not done so because we had hoped that he would do the right thing," the neighbors said.

WTVC is still waiting on a response from the sheriff's office as to if there have been complaints or issues reported at either home over the last year.

A warning for pet owners this winter

The tragedy, a warning and reminder for families across Tennessee as temperatures drop, requiring more antifreeze use.

"Keep your pets away from the garage, wherever you use antifreeze," said Dr. Sarah Johnston, a veterinarian at Nashville Pet Emergency Clinic on 12 South. "If you are using it, make sure you clean it up really well."

She said antifreeze poisoning in pets is more common this time of year.

“The biggest thing is, it has kind of a sweet smell to it, and we have heard that it has a sweet taste,” Johnston said. “I'm not sure if that’s the case, but in pets anything that looks sweet in that manner they tend to want to lick it.”

She said it can cause kidney failure almost instantly. There's nothing you can do to help, except take them to the pet emergency clinic immediately.

If your dog isn't going to the bathroom or starts acting lethargic, those are a few signs they may have consumed antifreeze. This goes for cats too because Johnson said antifreeze is even deadlier for cats.

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