Police in Pasquotank County, NC are trying to find out who is responsible for poisoning four canine relatives of Tuffy, North Carolina State University’s mascot. Tuffy’s father and sister had to be euthanized on Monday when veterinarians concluded they would not recover. All four dogs have been fighting for their lives since Easter.
Tuffy’s father Blaze, sister Nusia and two other dogs were poisoned after an unknown individual came onto the property where they live and left a bowl dug into the ground with pieces of fish laced with deadly antifreeze.
This was the second time someone tried to poison the dogs. A similar event occurred on Easter 2011, but all of the dogs, including Blaze made a full recovery.
Tuffy and his family are a rare breed of dog called Tamaskans. Blaze, Nusia and the others live with John and Christina Bannow who breed the canines which are known for their wolf-like appearance. Tamaskans were developed in Finland from Siberian huskies and Alaskan malamutes.
Tuffy was selected as the “Live Mascot for NC State University Wolfpack” in 2010. Original reports of the incident speculated that Tuffy had been one of the dogs poisoned, but he hasn’t lived with the Bannow family since becoming the mascot.
John and Christina have been visiting the sick dogs every day at a local veterinary hospital, since the crime occurred. John Bannow posted the following on the Tamaskan-Aid Facebook page:
“Unfortunately I have bad news. Blaze and Nusia are declining with no hope for recovery. This is a very difficult decision for Tina and me, but a decision that has to be made to prevent any further suffering. We will be putting Blaze and Nusia to sleep later today. Thank you all for your support, prayers, and sympathy.”
“Two-thirds of their kidney function was gone and just a few dialysis treatments would not have been able to save them. They would have had to have been on dialysis for the rest of their life and would have suffered greatly,” said Bannow.
The two other dogs returned home Monday evening and are expected to recover. Investigators are interviewing people in the area, but haven’t told the Bannow’s whether they have a suspect.
Photo Credit: drjason