Mystery illness has Arp pet owners worried

WEBXTRA: Arp dogs

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - A few pets are experiencing an unknown illness, and many pet owners in Arp are having to put their dogs into emergency pet hospitals or even bury their four-legged friends.

This unknown illness started four weeks ago as an isolated incident. However, earlier this week, a Facebook post with numerous comments sparked the Arp Police Department to re-open the case. Numerous pet owners have talked about their pets getting sick.

KLTV’s Dante Nuñez spoke with some of the families and the Arp police chief to get a better understanding of what is going on in Arp.

A small area within the city of Arp is seeing a rise of an unknown illness, causing some concern for pet owners. Arp Police Chief Joe Keegan said this illness is taking the lives of pets within a small geographical area.

“Four weeks ago, she was the only one. We were notified by a citizen that several of her dogs had become sick, and she had taken them to the vet,” Keegan said. “The vet had concluded, and two nights ago we started seeing on social media that other people in the same general area were starting to have that problem.”

At this time, there have been four reports filed, Keegan said. Phillip Alt lives in Arp, and he said Rosie, his dog, became very sick very fast.

“The third day, she started going downhill worse. She couldn’t get up or stand anymore, and she just kept getting weaker and weaker, and she got to the point where even when we tried to give her the fluids with the syringe, she couldn’t swallow it,” Alt said. “Friday morning, I guess it was between 3:30 and 4, she gave up. She just couldn’t do it anymore. She passed away.”

Alt said he now believes this was more than just an unknown illness.

“Yes, I believe Rosie was poisoned,” Alt said. “Something is going on, and we need to find out what it is. If someone’s poisoning them, they need to be caught.”

Another family within the same neighborhood took their dog, Bruno to the vet after experiencing the same unknown illness. Tests came back negative for canine parvovirus, and Ryan Quates said he believes this was no coincidence.

“I absolutely do believe that it is some type of poison,” Quates said. “This is not parvo. This is not just a virus; this is something else going on. It’s kind of odd to me that it’s happening in three blocks with so many different dogs.”

Keegan said there are no suspects at this time.

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