A large showing of public support has been given after pair of dogs living with a family in the Ta Ta Creek area have passed away in a suspected poisoning on the owner’s property.
Sam McCurdie lives in the Ta Ta Creek area with his four children, wife, alpacas, chickens, and his Great Pyrenees dogs, Talu and Gnara.
The two dogs had died the day after eating what McCudie and a veterinarian at Cranbrook’s Steeples Vet Clinic believe to be poison.
McCurdie said both of the dogs were in good health on the morning of Friday, May 8th, before he went to work.
“I went down to do my morning chores and the dogs were jumping all over me like they normally do,” said McCurdy. “I got home from work at 7:30 at night to my dogs puking all over my yard and acting drunk, like they didn’t have very good balance.”
McCurdie said he called the vet and proceeded to take care of the dogs, Gnara, who was seven months old, ate, Talu did not eat, but she did drink water. He believed that since the dogs had eaten and gotten water, they may feel better in the morning.
“I got up the next morning and they could just barely lift their heads off the ground, they were vomiting almost constantly, and they couldn’t hold any water down, and they were very very weak,” explained McCurdie.
Upon investigating what the dogs had eaten, they found what McCurdie said was the crust from white bread, which his family does not eat. He added the vet confirmed that it looked suspicious after bringing in a sample for examination.
“The vet said we needed to do blood work right away, these dogs are not good. Then Talu started to seizure and they went downhill very fast and they passed away at 3:30 on Saturday.”
He added that initially, it was believed that the dogs were poisoned with a substance that was used in coyote bait, known as Compound 1080. However, as the dog’s symptoms changed, it was instead believed to be caused by xylitol, an artificial sweetener that is extremely toxic to dogs, or anti-freeze.
McCurdie said that after the death of his dogs, their bodies will be sent to a specialist in Saskatchewan for a full necropsy and toxicology report, to find out what exactly killed his pets.
The unexpected death of the beloved pets had caused a great impact on the McCurdie family.
“These weren’t just our dogs, these were our girls. They chased off bears and cougars, and even ravens that tried to get our chickens, and they would bring you and egg without breaking it,” said McCurdie. “They were amazing dogs and there’s a big hole in our family at the moment.”
Since the incident, a GoFundMe page was set up to help cover vet bills and pay for the investigation as to what caused the untimely deaths, which had passed its $3,000 goal within two days.
“It goes to show that people are more good than bad. It’s been overwhelming, the amount of support we’ve gotten,” said McCurdie. A lot of people have come out of the woodwork and stepped up to help us out. We’d be in a really rough spot without everyone’s generosity.”
The funds raised will cover the vet bills and the likely cost of the post-mortem examination on Talu and Gnara, with the remainder going to help out other dogs that suffer a similar incident.
“Whatever funding is left over will remain at Steeples Vet Clinic. Hopefully, it’ll collect dust for a lot of years and nobody will need it, but the plan is for the rest of the funding to stay there in case someone else runs into this kind of problem.”
McCurdie is hopeful that someone will come forward with any information about what happened to his pets, Gnara and Talu.