COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A Midlands dog-lover and Richland County deputies need your help after a dog was apparently poisoned to death in an unusual, twisted way.
Valerie James picked her Rosewood home – with a big backyard – with two children in mind: Reilly the Black Lab and Darcy the Border Collie.
"She and Reilly had the free reign of this yard. She didn't like to play ball. She liked to herd him," she said.
A month ago, James came home from work to see her kids, but Darcy wasn't quite right.
"We let her in, and she was really in bad shape. She was falling all over. She was thirsty. We tried giving her water. She fell," James said.
In just a few hours, Darcy was dead.
"She died a miserable death," she said. "I mean, it wasn't like she just fell over and died. She was in awful shape."
James' vet soon discovered that Darcy was poisoned to death.
"He actually said, 'I had to get to the bottom of it. I pumped her stomach. We found some food in her stomach.' He asked me if I had fed her that food," James recalled. "I said, 'No. I don't even have that. I don't even eat that. It's not been in my house for probably 20 years.' And he said, 'Well, her stomach was full of at least a pound of it.'"
James' other dog, the lab, survived a similar sickness just one week prior. And so, it hit her: it was no mistake.
"I don't know who did it, but whoever did this was a very sick individual," she said.