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Couple suspect show dog was poisoned

A Hunter, N.D., couple are mourning the death of a family dog they believe was poisoned and Fargo police have opened an investigation into the death of Zara, a 2-year-old Italian mastiff.

Zara

A Hunter, N.D., couple are mourning the death of a family dog they believe was poisoned and Fargo police have opened an investigation into the death of Zara, a 2-year-old Italian mastiff.

The dog was put to sleep Monday after a veterinarian determined the dog's kidneys had shut down.

The dog's owners, Rachel and Art Ivaschuk, went shopping at Fargo's West Acres the afternoon of Nov. 4 and left Zara in an unlocked car for about two hours, Art Ivaschuk said Tuesday.

When they returned to the car, they found a McDonald's bag inside, which appeared to have been chewed through, Ivaschuk said.

They thought it strange, but didn't worry too much until Zara began throwing up what appeared to be half-digested pills, Ivaschuk said.

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He said they fed the dog medicinal charcoal in hopes it would absorb any toxins in her system, but the animal became sicker to the point she would not eat or drink.

Suspicious of the pills the dog threw up, they searched the car and found more of them, Ivaschuk said.

Fargo police Sgt. Jeff Skuza said the pills were identified as an over-the-counter medication that can be toxic to animals.

He said the incident is being investigated as a case of animal cruelty.

Skuza said the investigation is ongoing and declined to release details.

"She's twice a champion. She comes from champion bloodlines," Art Ivaschuk said, referring to Zara.

He said the family believes the dog was targeted at random and they are hoping anyone who saw something suspicious in the mall parking lot to come forward.

Ivaschuk said a reward is being offered, but he declined to specify an amount.

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Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555

Couple suspect show dog was poisoned Dave Olson 20071114

I'm a reporter and a photographer and sometimes I create videos to go with my stories.

I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and in my time with The Forum I have covered a number of beats, from cops and courts to business and education.

I've also written about UFOs, ghosts, dinosaur bones and the planet Pluto.

You may reach me by phone at 701-241-5555, or by email at dolson@forumcomm.com
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