CULLMAN, Ala. (WIAT) — A family in Cullman County believes their beloved family dog died after being intentionally poisoned. Now, they’ve set up a sign along Highway 222 offering a $2,000 reward for the public’s help to find the perpetrator.
“She meant something to us. She may not have to them, but she did to us and we want justice for her and for the rest of the dogs and for this to stop. No family should have to go through that,” said Susan Graham, whose dog BB died in January.
Graham also said that their neighbor lost their two German Shepherds to poison last fall. Cullman County Animal Control confirmed her neighbor’s dogs both died due to ingesting poison and that it’s most likely Graham’s dog died that way as well.
The sudden and violent death of their beloved four-year-old rescue mix, BB has left a hole in Graham’s family.
‘She was just happy-go-lucky. She loved swimming in the pond, she loved kids and playing with other dogs, I mean it was the happiest dog you’d ever seen,” Graham said.
The family lives on a 7-acre property next to some woods that attract hunters, and in January, Graham said someone purposely put poison into something they knew dogs would eat and threw it into their fenced-in backyard.
“There’s no reason for it. They came on our property, they put a poisoned deer leg in our fence,” Graham said.
BB got sick almost immediately.
“First, she would walk around like she’s kind of drunk, and I’m like, ‘maybe she’s just worn out,’ and then it got worse, and she would fall down. By the time I got home, she was going into seizures. She was coughing up blood. I’ve never seen something so cruel in my life,” Graham said.
Rodney Banister is the director of Cullman County Animal Control. While he couldn’t reveal much about their current investigation, he said these poisonings are most likely intentional and committed by the same person or people.
The perpetrator could face one to 10 years in prison for a felony charge of aggravated cruelty to animals. Banister also pointed out it’s illegal to poison any animals or wildlife in the state of Alabama.
In the meantime, he offered a message to dog owners in the area.
“Number one, keep your dogs confined, I mean it’s state law that a dog has to be confined to your property. Keep a close eye on your dogs — if you suspect anything, definitely have them vetted immediately,” Banister said.
Still, Graham’s two kids have nightmares, and the family has ramped up their security around the home. However, she emphasized she won’t rest until she gets justice for her best friend.
“The sign’s not coming down, and we’re not stopping until we find out what happened and why and who did it,” Graham said.
If you have information, call Cullman County Animal Control at (256) 734-5448.