Firestone Police are investigating the poisoning deaths of two dogs, after chunks of meat were found in their throats.
Travis and Tesla Dougherty just moved to Firestone, thinking it would be a safe place to raise a family.
"We're still unpacking," said Tesla Dougherty. "We've only been here two weeks."
They brought their 7-year-old dogs, Kyera and Dozer boy, with them.
"They were our babies. They were everything to us," said Tesla Dougherty.
Last Monday, though, 20 minutes after the dogs went out for their morning business.
"I called them. They didn't come," said Tesla Dougherty. "I ran downstairs and found them lying there, not breathing."
They both died in the backyard.
The Doughertys said that after a local animal hospital saw nothing suspicious in one dog's stomach, they took the other dog to experts at Colorado State University.
"The pathologist up at CSU found some meat in the esophagus of the other dog," said Tesla.
Turns out, she said, both dogs had meat in their throats, which is now being tested for poison.
"Whatever was used killed them so fast that the meat never even got to their stomach. It was still in their esophagus," said Travis Dougherty.
On the Firestone Police facebook page, officers stated that a person "tossed poison meat" into the Dougherty's back yard, and stated, "we know who you are" and that " a federal agency joined in our efforts" to investigate the crime.
"I'm scared, I'm angry. I'm heartbroken," said Tesla Dougherty. The Doughertys still have their dogs' favorite cushion, their toys and food bowls sitting out, almost like memorials to the family they planned to have in their new home.
"I always dressed Kyera up for Halloween. She used to prance around in her costumes. Pose for pictures," said Tesla Dougherty with a sad smile.
"I rescued him [Dozer Boy] from the Weld County Humane Society, he's been my best friend since then," said Travis Dougherty. "They were great together."
Police would not comment today about which federal agency is assisting in the investigation or why federal investigators are involved.
Copyright Report a typo or inaccuracyIf you have a news tip or a follow-up to this story, e-mail us.Copyright 2011 by TheDenverChannel.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.