An event in central Pennsylvania aimed at raising awareness about pit bulls turned tragic over the weekend when five puppies became gravely ill and were raced to a vet hospital.
Two puppies died and three were fighting for their lives after what appears to have been an intentional poisoning at the first Central Pennsylvania Pit Bull Awareness Day in Hollidaysburg.
An autopsy showed that the puppies had ingested a poisonous substance and rescuers believe that someone with a hatred of pit bulls targeted the pups, according to WTAJ-TV.
See the video report here.
Rescuer Renae Metz said one of the eight-week-old puppies began acting strangely Saturday afternoon during the event.
"His stomach was bloated, he had glazy eyes and couldn't hold his head up," Metz said.
That puppy, who was rushed to the hospital as were the other five puppies, later died as did a second puppy. The three others are still being monitored.
Police and the veterinarian who treated the dogs believe the puppies, who were healthy that morning, were intentionally poisoned.
"They were at the vet Thursday and all were completely healthy," said Metz, whose group is offering a $1,000 reward in connection with the case. "We were closely monitoring the puppies. We never thought that someone would be hateful enough to poison the puppies, we never thought that could happen."
Organizers of a pet event in Blair County this weekend, the Central PA Pets Expo, are increasing security as a result.