HOLLIDAYSBURG - Two pit bull puppies died and three others were fighting for their lives Saturday night after a possible poisoning at the first annual Central Pennsylvania Pit Bull Awareness Day at Legion Park.
At about 2 p.m., one of six eight-week-old puppies owned by the local chapter of A Darrah Bull Bully Rescue started to act irregular, said Renae Metz of Roaring Spring, president.
"His stomach was bloated, he had glazy eyes and
couldn't hold his head up," Metz said.
The puppy was rushed to Ebensburg Animal Hospital, where it died, Metz said.
The other five puppies were then taken to the hospital. Four were put on IV treatment, and the other was being held for observation. One of the four later died, Metz said.
"They were healthy. It seems like it may have been an intentional poisoning," said Officer William Sheehan of the Hollidaysburg Police Department, who was called to the scene.
Dr. Michael Takacs of the Ebensburg Animal Hospital also said the puppies may have been poisoned, Metz said.
"Dr. Takacs said he believed they were poisoned by something in the water. He said there was no food in their stomachs, but the liver was bleeding, Metz said.
Metz was upset over the incident.
"They were 8 weeks old, they were at the vet Thursday and all were completely healthy," Metz said. "We were closely monitoring the puppies. We never thought that someone would be hateful enough to poison the puppies, we never thought that could happen."
In light of Saturday's event, there will be additional security measures in place today at another pet-themed event, the Altoona Mirror's second annual Central PA Pets Expo, to be held from noon to 5 p.m. at the Blair County Convention Center.
"We certainly hope the terrible tragedy Saturday was an isolated incident, but we'll have security guards and a police presence in place for our show so that everyone involved can feel extra safe," Mirror General Manager Ray Eckenrode said.