Warr Acres veteran says landlord tried to kill his dog
By: Christine VanTimmeren, Primetime Reporter - bio | email
WARR ACRES -
An Army veteran in Warr Acres says his dog was intentionally poisoned and nearly killed by his landlord.
Doug Linebarger says he and his wife came home earlier this week to find their 11 month old german shepherd-lab mix unconscious and their home ransacked. The couple contacted police and now they want the person responsible behind bars.
"We found her laying on the floor. There was a patch of urine and she was laying in a puddle of vomit and foam," said Linebarger.
That's how Linebarger found his dog Willow on Monday night. She was barely breathing and nearly dead.
"She's not just a dog, she's our family. She's training to be my service dog," he said.
Linebarger is an Army veteran suffering from PTSD and Willow provides the support he needs.
Willow was rushed to Neel Veterinary Hospital where doctors worked to keep her alive.
"Over the past 24 hours she has improved quite a bit and she is not comatose anymore and can in fact stand up and is wagging her tail," said veterinarian Dr. Brett Boatman.
As happy as Linebarger is that Willow is improving, he wants answers. He says muscle relaxers were found in Willow's crate, medication he doesn't have in his home. He thinks his landlord is responsible.
"At this point in time we have a number of witnesses and potential suspects to question and we're in the process of setting up interviews to question those people," said Warr Acres Police Chief Roger Patty.
Since a toxicology report is extremely expensive and was not done, there's no way to know for sure if drugs were in Willow's system. Police are not naming any suspects. Linebarger says he's convinced someone did this to his dog on purpose.
"There was obviously enough there that we're conducting an investigation into what happened to the dog," said Chief Patty.
"It hurts that people could do something like that to a harmless animal," said Linebarger.
FOX25 talked with Linebarger's landlord by phone. She says the accusations against her are completely false and she has been cooperative with the investigation.