'Something seriously toxic is on the banks'

'Something seriously toxic is on the banks'

EUGENE, Ore. -- Porter Cable was a spirited, defiant puppy. 

Kuta Ku was a therapy dog, who brought comfort to dozens of people outside his family. 

Porter Cable (at left) and Kuta Ku (above), victims of an unknown toxin near Elkton.

Now both dogs are dead.

Shay Casey's voice breaks as she describes her pets.  She hasn't stopped crying for three days.  The tears started when she first learned the dogs died on Friday.  They've kept falling as Casey and her boyfriend, who was with the dogs, try to find out what happened to their pets.

The dogs got sick on a trip to Elk Creek, a fishing hole off Highway 138 near Elkton, when Casey's boyfriend took them there Friday. 

"I fish there every year when Chinook salmon show up," Shay's boyfriend said.  He asked not to be identified, out of safety concerns.  "It's a riverbank.  That's where we take our dogs to play."
But while the dogs explored Elk Creek on this trip, they got violently ill.  Porter Cable was vomiting, panting and having seizures.  He died before his owner could get him to the car.  Kuta Ku, a 10-year-old husky, died on the way to the vet.

"You don't have a second to react to whatever it was down there," he said.  "It's instant.  Something seriously toxic is on the banks."

Dwes Hutson, a spokesman for the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, says the creek water is being tested.  However, investigators believe something outside the water sickened the dogs.

While DCSO only has record of Casey's dogs, two others were also poisoned after trips to Elk Creek.

A Douglas County resident told KVAL News his eight-year-old border collie-lab mix got sick and died at the creek three weeks ago.  He said an Elkton family's dog also died after playing at the creek.

Porter and Kuta's owner believe the dogs got into drugs or poison, which were either left on the banks or place their intentionally to harm animals. 

"I think it's intentional. whether it's meant for people's dogs or coyotoes," he said.
"I'm devastated," said Casey.  "There just aren't any words.  I'd like to have an answer.  My son wants to know who killed our dogs, why someone would do this.  I don't have an answer for him.  I just don't know."