On December 3, 2016, Jeffrey K. Lauer was taking his dog, Jake, for a walk through his property near Fort Collins, Colorado.
The walk was part of a group activity that he had started in January of last year with the assistance of the Fort Collins Humane Society.
Lacey and Jake were a happy pair, and he decided to keep them together for the duration of the walk.
The dogs were getting along well, Lauer said.
However, as he continued to walk, Lacey began feeling a bit uncomfortable.
It was around the 2:00 p.m. hour, and Lauer noticed that his dog was getting a little more and more uncomfortable.
“I just thought, I’m going to have to go back inside,” he said.
Jake, who had been in the group for almost two hours, began to get a little restless, Lach said.
Lach, who has a background in veterinary medicine, decided to check in with the dog.
Jake started to get restless, and at this point, Laches told his wife that he thought it was time to leave.
She agreed and told Lauer that they were both going to leave, but Jake had a different idea.
“He started to shake, and I thought, He’s not going to be okay,” Lach recalled.
“It was very scary, because he was so young, and so young puppies can’t do that.
He’s never been in a situation where his puppy had been physically injured or otherwise hurt.”
Lauer walked out of the group and started to search for his dog.
He found Jake at about 2:30 a.m., just a few minutes before the dogs were to leave for their walk.
Jake was still upset and kept his head down, Laff said.
When Lauer returned home, he found Jake dead on the ground, blood on his arms and legs.
Laff, who works at a clinic in Fort Collins that provides medical care to dogs and other animals, told Newsweek that Lauer’s dog had a history of having a reaction to certain chemicals used in the food industry.
Jake’s death brought tears to Lauer.
“We are a family that relies on the animals for their lives,” Laff told Newsweek.
“To see that a puppy was injured by a chemical and the dog died, it is hard to comprehend.”
The two deaths at the Fort Denver Veterinary Hospital this past January are both believed to be the result of poisoning.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends, veterinarians, and the animal rescue community,” Dr. Amy B. Grier, director of animal medicine at the hospital, said in a statement.
“As the first responders, we have dedicated our careers to saving the lives of animals and are saddened to learn of this death.”
Lach’s wife was devastated by the news of her husband’s death.
“The loss of a loved one, of an animal, is so hard to process,” she said in an interview with Newsweek.
She added that Jake had never been abused or hurt, and that Laff’s “selfless and professional actions to protect the life of the animal” were a testament to the care he put into his animal.
The two veterinarians at the clinic did not immediately respond to Newsweek’s request for comment.
The case is being investigated by the Fort Dodge County Medical Examiner’s Office.
“This is a sad day for all animal lovers,” Grier said in the statement.
“We are very sad to learn that one of our animals died in our care this past weekend, and we are in mourning and heartbroken,” she added.