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Family Mourns Deaths of Poisoned Pets

A Perry County family pushes authorities to investigate after their animals are poisoned near home.
PERRY COUNTY, AR -- Central Arkansas investigators are working an animal poisoning case that left three family pets dead.

The Phipps family asked for an autopsy for one of their deceased dogs, and examiners found Strychnine in its system. The discovery confirmed their suspicion that someone meant to hurt their pets but now they're hoping authorities will discover the person responsible.

"Most of them just get dropped here in our yard," says Betty Phipps, describing how some of their dogs came to live with them.

The Phipps are true animal lovers whose Perry County home has become a makeshift rescue that compliments their quiet country lifestyle.

Phipps says she loves “The quietness and I can have all the pets I want without complaints.”

That was, until a few weeks ago. Phipps says one day her dogs, Faith and Pup and her cat, Oscar were healthy but things took a sudden turn for the worse late July.

“She brought this bag of bird-looking seeds in it, that's what was in the dogs' system when they were autopsied. It was strychnine,” she says.

After realizing her pets were poisoned, Phipps says investigators asked her to take video and photos of her dog’s symptoms as evidence.

"Cops had us dig him back up,” she says.

She says she knew her dogs had chased a neighbor's animals before and says out here in the county, it would have at least been fair for someone to shoot her pets, but not poison them.

“They literally suffered. My German Shepard's tongue kept swelling until she couldn't breathe,” she says.

The Phipps tried to clear their stomachs of the poison but all three pets died. Pup belonged to Phipps' 14-year-old son William.

“He was my favorite dog, we always ran the field and stuff,” William says.

And Faith held Betty through tough times.

"My father had a stroke and she was the last thing he ever done with me, he brought this dog and I took her to visit him all the time and they just killed her for nothing,” Phipps adds.

Now the family is hoping authorities will fully investigate and hold someone accountable.

"They should be brought to justice,” she says.

The Perry County Sheriff’s office says the case is still under investigation.

The family says they received a call Monday saying that deputies misplaced their initial report and would be back to their home for another visit.
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