Dog Abuse

Man Tossed Ground Beef Stuffed with Rat Poison Over Neighbor’s Fence

An Oregon man is behind bars charged with first-degree animal abuse. His neighbors pray their beloved dogs will survive his disturbing attempt to harm them by tossing poison-stuffed hamburger patties into their fenced backyard.

On August 2, John Motter was sitting comfortably when one of his dogs, Barry, a Pomeranian/Shih Tzu hopped up onto the couch next to him and began chewing. When he took the unidentified substance out of Barry’s mouth, he was horrified to discover it was ground beef stuffed with rat poison.

John and his wife Shannon rushed Barry and their other dog Gracie, a Pomeranian/Chihuahua to an emergency vet, fearful that both had ingested some of the poisoned meat. Both dogs are being treated for the poison, a treatment that doesn’t always work. “Basically what happens is the blood stops clotting, so they bleed internally,” the couple explained to KOIN. “It’s a horrible death. And it’s a long and painful death.”

Barry (left) and Gracie are still not out of the woods after ingesting the poisoned hamburger | Washington County Sheriff’s Office

After finding the first poisoned hamburger in Barry’s mouth, John found a second patty in the backyard. Fearing that the neighbor was tossing the poisoned meat over the fence that separates their yards, he called police. A Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy walked the property with the couple, but no more burgers were found.

The following day, as John was installing security cameras on the back of his house, another poisoned patty landed in the backyard.

The couple’s neighbor, Erik Mighells, 57, was arrested on August 4, just two days after the first poisoned meat was found by Barry. Mighells is facing a charge of first-degree animal abuse. He’s currently being held in the Washington County Jail.

Meanwhile, Barry and Gracie will require several follow-up visits with their veterinarian over the next few weeks before the Motters will know if their beloved dogs will be ok.

“We don’t have children, so they are our furbabies, they are our children,” John said.

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