MESA, AZ - A Mesa family is devastated after losing their two dogs who were reportedly poisoned with antifreeze.
The family says their 10-year-old wolf hybrids Max and Abi started acting lethargic and sick on Thursday.
By Friday Abi was dead, and Max had to be put down the next day.
"They were born right before Christmas. They were my Christmas every day. They were so loving, and gentle, and kind," said owner Darlene Himes. "I was their mom. They looked at me like I was their mom. It's destroyed our family, it really has."
The couple believes their dogs had been poisoned. Veterinarians at First Pet in Mesa said the deaths seemed suspicious. Tests showed crystals in the dog's urine that confirmed antifreeze poisoning but the family said the dogs had no access to any antifreeze in the backyard.
The couple had been contacted by animal control in the past, after someone complained about their dogs barking, but the couple thought it was unbelievable that anybody could stoop to harming the dogs.
Dr. Sarah Taubenberger at Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners said antifreeze poisoning is one of the most painful deaths an animal could experience.
"It leads to renal failure, which is extremely painful for an animal," said Dr. Taubenberger.
Randy Himes said he was devastated when he found their dog Abi hiding under the lemon tree. She appeared to be whimpering in pain.
"It's one of the most painful things you could ever imagine to watch. We sat there with Abi, and you know it was too late. She had already more or less kind of kind of given up," said Himes.
Max started displaying the same symptoms the next day.
"He was lethargic and shaking, his tongue was black. He was in so much pain," said Himes. They made the difficult decision to euthanize him on Saturday.
The Himeses said Mesa police initially told them they could not investigate this case as there were no witnesses, but after getting the necropsy reports, city officials have confirmed that both animal control and police are now investigating the dog deaths.
Darlene Himes said a detective had contacted her on Tuesday to let them know they were looking into it.
"I just pray you find out who did this. I pray that. My babies deserve justice," said Himes.
If you know anything about this incident please contact Mesa police or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS.