Records: Neighbor Under Investigation In Dog Poisonings

Police Records Say Firestone Man Was Suspected In Other Pet Poisonings

A Firestone man under investigation in the poisoning deaths of his neighbors' dogs was suspected of poisoning neighbors' pets in the past, according to a search warrant obtained by 7NEWS.

Every time their two new dogs go outside, Travis and Tesla Dougherty are beside them.

"They're in the house or they're on the leash," said Travis Dougherty of Firestone. "It's sad, but we don't what happened before to happen to them."

In August, a Firestone police search warrant states, the Doughertys found their previous dogs, Kyera and Dozer Boy, dead in the backyard, with strychnine-tainted meat lodged in their throats.

"It's really hard living next to somebody that you know killed your dogs," Travis Dougherty said.

Police haven't named anyone as a suspect, but records show officers have searched a neighbor's home and his history.

7NEWS is not identifying the man because he has not been named as a suspect. But the man confirmed to 7NEWS Reporter Jaclyn Allen that he moved to Firestone a few months ago from Winona, Minn.

In Winona, a former neighbor told 7NEWS that he took out a restraining order against the man after animal carcasses started turning up on his property.

"It was the biggest dead raccoon I have ever seen," he said. "And we believe he threw that there right outside our bedroom window."

Police records show another former Winona neighbor, Barbara Crozier, told police that "all three of their dogs were poisoned ... with strychnine" and that she suspected the man, "but couldn't prove it."

Crozier said she had had a dispute with the man over a mudslide on his property.

Another former neighbor, Mike Stinson, told 7NEWS that his cat was shot in the leg during the time the man lived in the area, and police never caught anyone.

"It seemed like everyone kind of avoided [the man], even the law," Stinson said.

But a month ago, police records show Firestone police searching for strychnine seized items from the man's home, including "unknown granular substances" that are being tested now.

"They just want to make sure that justice is served," said Kristi Ritter, a spokeswoman for the Town of Firestone.

7NEWS tried to talk to the man, who denied the allegations, and did not want to speak on camera.

The search warrant also stated that an agent with the Environmental Protection Agency found meat in the man's trash can that had similar characteristics to the meat found in the throats of the Doughertys' poisoned dogs.

Firestone police said they are waiting for the test results to come back on items seized from the man's home, which could take until mid-November.

Now, the Doughertys say they're living in fear of their neighbor while they wait to see if police can make the case.

"We heard he's been getting away with this type of behavior for a really long time. And we hope it stops with Kyera and Dozer Boy," Travis Dougherty said.

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