Neighbor arrested after Oregon family’s dogs eat poisoned meat


BETHANY, Ore. (KOIN) — John and Shannon Motter said they can’t imagine life without their dogs Gracie and Barry.

“We got both of them when they were little,” Shannon Motter said. Gracie is “a pomeranian chihuahua mix. (Barry) is pomeranian shih tzu mix.”

On Monday night, Barry hopped on their couch with a hamburger in his mouth. But the burger was coated with green pellets. John Motter was immediately concerned and then terrified once he researched what the pellets could be: rat poison.

The Motters found that rat poison stops dogs’ blood from clotting so they bleed internally.

Erik Mighells of Bethany is accused of poisoning his neighbor’s dogs. (Washington County Sheriff’s Office)

They rushed the dogs to the veterinarian, where they were put on medication to stop the impacts of any poison they may have ingested.

John Motter also found a second burger in his yard. He believes it came from over his neighbor’s fence. A Washington County deputy came out and walked the property, he said.

The property was cleared. But then on Tuesday night, a third patty apparently laced with poison was left in his yard — while he was installing security cameras.

On Wednesday, their neighbor, Erik Mighells, was arrested. The 57-year-old is facing a charge of first-degree animal abuse. He’s being held in the Washington County Jail.

Now, the Motters can only watch Gracie and Barry and wait for their tests and bloodwork.

“They are already on the medication,” Shannon said. “But we don’t know. They could not make it.”

The Motters said sometimes the medications don’t work and they won’t know if their dogs are out of the woods for another few days.

Dogs allegedly poisoned. (Washington County Sheriff’s Office)

“It’s a horrible death,” John Motter said. “And it’s a long and painful death.”

He said his neighborhood is on alert, concerned for other pets and animals in the community. He’s advising his neighbors to scour their yards for anything that looks similar to what they found in theirs.

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