SPCA investigating after couple discovers dog died from rat poison

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The SPCA Cincinnati is investigating the death of a pet after a Pleasant Ridge couple reported their dog died from eating rat poison.

Julie Prevey and her boyfriend Nathan Hanks said when they returned home from vacation Feb. 18, their dogs Grimm and Loki appeared fine.

Prevey said they let the dogs into their fenced backyard while she went inside to talk with the dog-sitter and Hanks brought their luggage in. When they called the dogs in a few minutes later, Grimm came running, but Prevey said seven-year-old Loki was dead in their backyard.

"It was very sudden. There weren't any signs at all," Prevey said. "It's incredibly painful."

The couple adopted Loki when he was just six weeks old and said they are heartbroken by his passing.

"He was a very friendly, playful dog," Prevey said.

The couple said because Loki had near perfect health, his death wasn't only a shock, it was suspicious. They decided to have a toxicology report done and received the results last week.

The report from Ohio State University shows that Loki died from "anticoagulant rodenticide exposure," or from ingesting rat poison. A local vet said a dog that ingests the poison may not show any signs and could seem fine for three to four days after eating it.

"It prevents the reuptake of Vitamin K, which is necessary for blood clotting," said Dr. Jason Tarabrella with Monroe Family Pet Hospital. "After the body no longer has Vitamin K available, then the dog will start bleeding internally."

Prevey and Hanks can't say for sure how Loki got ahold of the toxin, but they said they have searched and confirmed they have not had any on their property. They are worried someone may have given it to Loki with the intent to kill.

"I just hope that it's not, for lack of a better term, a serial poisoner," Prevey said. "I don't want somebody else in the neighborhood to have to go through this. I don't want it to happen again."

The pair spoke with an SPCA officer who is looking into the case. They said even if they never learn the truth about Loki, they hope sharing their story will convince other pet owners to be more alert and aware.

The couple said they have gotten another puppy, but nothing will ever replace Loki.

According to Dr. Tarabrella, if a dog owner catches their dog eating rat poison and gets the dog medical care right away, the dog has a good chance of survival.

An SPCA spokesperson released a statement that reads:

As it pertains to the deceased dog named Loki, SPCA Cincinnati has not been informed of any suspect(s) that may be linked to Loki's death. The owners reached out to our organization to make an official report. You may refer to the cause of death in the report that the owner has. Moreover, we are asking that media partners like Fox 19 help us solicit help from the community to identify persons responsible for this unfortunate incident. Please report tips pertaining to this case to 513-541-6100, after hours at 513-825-2280 or info@spcacincinnati.org.

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