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Thursday, Jun 22, 2006County: Santa Clara
Suspect(s) Unknown - We need your help!
The owners of a Labrador retriever who was euthanized Friday morning said they believe their dog may have been poisoned.
"Peanut was such a good dog, he didn't deserve this," Venessa Perales said as she looked over the canine's freshly dug grave in the backyard of her mother-in-law's house in San Martin. The family held a small memorial service there over the weekend.
Perales and her husband James initially brought Peanut to a vet in San Jose on the night of June 22, where the dog was treated for possible dehydration then taken home to the Perales' single family home off of First Street. The neighborhood is dotted with trees and homes with neatly landscaped lawns.
However, the next morning, James Perales awoke to find Peanut alive, but laying in the garage in a pool of blood. She also said the 3-year-old dog was excreting and urinating blood.
"It smelled like death in the garage," Venessa Perales said.
Along with her husband and 12-year-old stepdaughter Jalyssa, Perales immediately brought Peanut to Princevalle Pet Hospital in Gilroy.
Venessa Perales said the veterinarian, Dr. Suzanne Colbert, told them Peanut looked as if he had been poisoned, though Perales added the vet could not pinpoint what the poison was.
"She told us, this is definitely a poison case," Venessa Perales said.
But Dr. Colbert would neither confirm nor dispute anything about the dog's condition, and had no comment on the case citing patient/doctor confidentiality.
Jalyssa Perales was present at the time Peanut was examined and also said the veterinarian told the family the animal's symptoms point to poison.
"I was really paying attention to what the vet said, because this was my dog and he was sick," Jalyssa Perales said. "She said he was poisoned."
Police said Venessa Perales filed an incident report with animal control officers, but that an official police report was not made due to lack of information.
There was no rat poison in the house, Venessa Perales said. She also said household cleaners were kept high on a shelf away from Peanut and her children. She added that gardeners visited her rented house, but that they did not use chemicals or pesticides and that Peanut did not leave the yard.
Venessa Perales said she suspects someone might have harmed Peanut because animal control officers called her house to tell her someone complained about Peanut's barking.
She and her family moved into the South Gilroy neighborhood last November, and Venessa Perales said animal control first called her in February.
"Peanut didn't bark a lot," Jalyssa Perales said. "He would only bark when he saw a cat or heard a fire engine, but that's natural."
And, Peanut was a trusting dog.
"My dog would eat anything. Who knows what anyone could have given him?" she said.
A neighbor who has lived in Perales' area for a year said she keeps her dog inside because she feels her he is safer.
"I like to keep an eye on my dog, and keep him close to me because I know neighbors have complained in the past," said the woman, who didn't want her name to be used.
The neighbor said speaking with Perales led her to be even more careful with her pets.
"I thought I might want to move, because of the neighbors here. I don't want to get involved, but whatever happened to Peanut, that's not right," the neighbor said.
- Gilroy Dispatch - June 29, 2006
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