Who’s Killing The Family Of NC State University’s Mascot?

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.

Related Stories:

Happiness For Scotland’s ‘Saddest Dog’

A Cat With Your Coffee

Update: Orangutan Caught In Snare Gets Lifesaving Surgery

Photo Credit: drjason


Lauren Ashley Duncan
Lauren duncan4 years ago

How very sad. I go to NCSU (actually about to graduate). I never agreed with getting a live mascot and even spoke out against it, however, the hard-headed numbskulls decided we should spend money on buying one of these dogs anyway (despite all the alternatives that were laid before them). Especially when it was the animal people themselves (zoolgy major) and people who work with animals saying not to get this dog. In any case, I still find it sad though and I can't imagine why someone would go out of their way to poison the poor things. We lost two of our dogs growing up to someone who poisoned them and it's an awful thing.

Louise J.
Louise J5 years ago

people can be so evil...now I know why I prefer the company of my dogs instead of people! I love Tamaskans and hope to own one soon...just dunno how people can do this type of thing

Sandra Noah
Sandra Noah5 years ago

Laws for injuring or killing an animal are not as strict as those for injuring or killing a person, so when caught this person or persons should be allowed to consume the fish they put out for the dogs. If one can cause injury to animal who can say that the person can also cause injury to another person.

Carrie Anne Brown

hope they catch the person/people thanks for sharing

Kathleen G.
Kathleen G5 years ago

This is so very sad.Beautiful dogs poisoned by a sub-human beast.I hope this beast is caught and severly punished.The owners must set up a video camera ( it is cheap to do and well worth the other dogs safety )in order to catch the one that is doing this.The rest of the dogs must be given protection now.

Jennifer S.
Jennifer S5 years ago

I cannot understand why someone would so maliciously harm these animals. It is really sick.

Linda O.
Linda O.5 years ago

being a Wolfpack graduate, this infurates me beyond. 1)I completely agree that usually it is someone you know and 2) I would seriously like to get some payback on the heartless piece of $h!t that did this. To poison a defenseless dog, you have NO soul, period!

Darla G.
Darla G5 years ago

The sick b*stard who did this needs to be caught before he/she does any more harm to these beautiful animals.

Crystal Sellers
Crystal Sellers5 years ago

If this has happened in the past they need to start looking for people around them that have voiced there displeasure at the dogs being there.. Most times it's people you know that try to kill your pet. Example: neighbors/school mate/rival schools.. To the web people. Someone is dumb enough to post about this on some form of social media.

Patricia E.
Patricia Everman5 years ago

I hope and pray the perpetrators are caught and punished to the full extent of the law!