Criminal charges accuse the Blanks’ neighbors, Scott and Tammy Bailey, of pouring antifreeze into a bowl of food scraps March 10 to discourage the dog from returning to their yard, according to the criminal complaint.
The Baileys, both 30 and of 416 S. Sixth St. in La Crescent, made initial appearances Monday in Houston County District Court in Caledonia, Minn., on charges of cruelty to animals causing death and poisoning animals. The couple returns to court May 29.
Sadie was unresponsive on the backyard deck when Blank came home from work March 11.
“She looked like she was drunk,” Blank said. “I picked her up, and she fell over.”
A veterinarian diagnosed Sadie with antifreeze poisoning and ordered an IV before the onset of seizures and kidney failure, Blank said.
Blank’s husband, Rod, a retired Hokah police officer, suspected foul play and notified La Crescent police.
Investigate the neighbors, he told officers. Rod Blank believed the Baileys had filed a police report when Sadie wandered into their yard last fall.
Frustrated by Sadie’s frequent trespassing, garbage raids and a recent incident in which she stole meat from their grill, Scott Bailey left a cup of antifreeze in a bowl near the backyard grill, the complaint stated.
The Baileys’ attorney, Tim Guth, said Scott Bailey thought the smell of the antifreeze would discourage the animal from intruding.
Sadie had removed the same bowl, filled with food scraps, from the garbage in the backyard, Guth said.
The poisoning was unintentional, the Baileys told police.
For seven years there has been an ongoing dispute between the neighbors. The Baileys claim that Sadie was always getting into their backyard and stealing things, which the Blanks adamantly deny. The attorney for the Baileys stated that his client put out the antifreeze because he thought the smell would discourage the animal from intruding.
The Blanks remembered Sadie as loving and loyal, a dog that made friends with special-needs students at La Crescent Elementary School and enjoyed camping.
“She was always happy to see you,” Rod Blank said.
While it is the responsibility of the pet owner to keep their dog secured in the yard I realize escapes happen. We’ve dealt with our own Hairy Houdini for many years, luckily we can outrun him now. That being said, it doesn’t give someone the right to knowingly put out a poison that will kill an animal. While the Baileys told police they thought the smell would keep Sadie away I have to believe everyone knows antifreeze has a sweet smell which attracts animals, making it that much more dangerous. Couple that with the fact it was in a bowl with food scraps makes it hard to believe what happened was “unintentional.”
No one has the right to kill someone’s pet because it has become an annoyance. I hope the Houston County Attorney takes this crime seriously and gives it the proper attention it deserves.
Our condolences go out to the Blank family.