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Summit County sheriff investigates Oakley dogs killed with rat poison

Quincy (left) and Jade (right) passed away Feb. 28, 2024.
ChaBlee Padgett
Quincy (left) and Jade (right) passed away Feb. 28, 2024.

An Oakley woman is warning neighbors after two of her dogs were killed and three others poisoned.

Two of ChaBlee Padgett’s hunting dogs, Quincy and Jade, died back on Feb. 28.

Quincy’s autopsy shows the cause of death was strychnine, a poison commonly used to kill rodents and other small mammals. The poison is highly toxic and potentially fatal to humans, too.

Padgett and her husband, a plow driver for Summit County, live on Cow Alley in Oakley and had five dogs. The dogs would sleep in the garage at night and hang out in the kennel during the day.

Feb. 28, her husband put out Quincy and Junior in the kennel when he went to work at 4 a.m. Three hours later, Padgett put out Jade.

At 10:15 a.m., Padgett said her mom noticed one of the dogs was acting strange. By 2:45 p.m., Quincy and Jade were dead, and Junior was very sick.

They took him to the vet, and he has since recovered. They also contacted Summit County Animal Control and the sheriff’s office.

“When I got home [Feb. 28], the officer was there, and we walked back there,” Padgett said. “I showed him the kennel. We found a little bit of product in the kennel.”

Padgett said she took the substance to the Utah Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Spanish Fork, which determined it was strychnine.

Sgt. Felicia Sotelo confirmed the sheriff’s office is investigating what happened to the dogs.

“Hopefully, through the investigation, we’ll determine if this was benign or intentional,” she said. “One thing that we would like to say is for people to just be mindful of their pets, and make sure that they're there in their yards and where they're supposed to be.”

She couldn’t confirm whether deputies have any suspects at this time.

Quincy’s autopsy shows she had rat poison and chicken in her stomach when she died. Six days later, Padgett’s other two dogs got sick. The culprit: chicken and rat poison.

She and her husband were on a walk with their 3-year-old son and other two dogs, Scrappy and Squirrel. The dogs ran ahead and got into a to-go box on the side of the road.

Padgett said it contained a mix of chicken and bright green rat poison pellets.

“It was placed right outside the neighbor's fence,” she said, “on public access right there. So anyone could get into it: dogs, cats, kids, anything.”

Sotelo couldn’t say whether the incidents are related. She wasn't aware of any similar recent poisonings.

Scrappy, Squirrel and Junior are all OK now. Padgett said they’re not letting out the dogs anymore. They’re also installing cameras and limiting where they let their son play.

“The majority of the neighborhood is just very concerned for the well-being of the children on the street,” she said. “We have a lot of kids that play on that street and a lot of kids that ride their bikes. It's a dead-end road, so a lot of comfort comes in with a dead-end road.”

But now that comfort has turned to caution and concern. No other poisonings have been reported since March 5.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Summit County Sheriff’s Office at (435) 615-3600 or submit a tip online.