MAKAWAO, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Maui family is devastated after two pets were poisoned. Authorities fear other dogs in the same community have also been targeted. The Maui Humane Society is now investigating four animal cruelty cases in Maui Uplands in Makawao. The agency is warning pet owners to watch out for dog treats laced with antifreeze that are being tossed into yards.
Chloe Mullikin and her family are heartbroken by the deaths of their beloved pets, Hailey and Elly. They called their veterinarian on June 3 after Hailey suddenly fell ill.
"Hailey started getting disoriented. She wasn't able to walk. She was collapsing. She was vomiting," said Mullikin.
The Animal Care Hospital and Wellness Center tried to save the 11-year-old dog, but she started to have seizures and her kidneys were shutting down.
"Because of all this worsening of the physical symptoms and the dog not making any urine, and based on real serious blood results as far as the kidneys in very bad shape, we elected to put her out of her misery," said veterinarian Dennis Brown.
Brown performed a necropsy and concluded that Hailey had been poisoned with ethylene glycol, the main ingredient in most antifreeze brands. The chemical tastes sweet and has an enticing aroma. 2-year-old Elly also started showing symptoms and had to be euthanized a couple of days later. The family installed surveillance cameras around the home and called the Maui Humane Society. Investigators are now looking into three other suspected poisoning cases in the same neighborhood. One ailing dog is being treated by a veterinarian.
"I believe that they were able to get samples of the treats, pick up the leftovers in their yard," said Jerleen Bryant, CEO of the Maui Humane Society.
Bryant said in the other cases, the owners discovered the suspicious treats first.
"We have received a couple other reports of people who have found dog treats in their yard. Thankfully, their dogs hadn't had the opportunity to eat them yet," she said.
The Humane Society is urging people in the community not to leave their animals out in the yard unsupervised.
"It's sick. We lost our - they're family members - and we're all really devastated about it and it's caused a lot of pain. I don't want it to happen to nobody else," said Mullikin.
If you see something suspicious, call the Maui Humane Society at (808)877-3680 ext. 211. Poisoning a pet is considered first-degree animal cruelty. The felony carries a penalty of up to 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.