LAKE DELTON, Wis. - A 4-year-old Yorkshire terrier mix named Clarice is lucky to be alive after eating six nails wrapped in hot dogs left at a Lake Delton apartment complex, her owner said Wednesday in an interview with TODAY'S TMJ4 Madison sister station News 3.
Clarice is the pride and joy of Tom Deakin and his girlfriend, Jennifer Ramos.
"(She's a) big ball of energy, best puppy in the world, runs all over the place, jumps on your lap whenever she can," Deakin said.
Deakin said the nails were left at the Canyon Pointe Apartments in Lake Delton, where Ramos lives; he believes they were left intentionally.
"That is some malicious stuff," Deakin said. "You hear about it every once in awhile, someone out here or there finding that someone tried poisoning their dog or whatever. You never think it's going happen to you."
Deakin said Ramos initially thought the hot dogs were food scraps from a busted-open garbage bag and thought nothing of Clarice eating them. He said once he and his girlfriend were alerted by apartment management that the hot dogs contained nails, the couple immediately panicked.
"(Jennifer) immediately remembered that 'holy crap, Clarice ate some,'" Deakin said.
Deakin said he and Ramos kept an eye on Clarice overnight and, despite seeming fine, rushed her to the veterinarian the next morning.
"If we wouldn't have taken her in, we wouldn't have known," Deakin said.
Clarice required more than $3,000 worth of surgery to remove the nails from her stomach.
"She just came home earlier today (Wednesday), so she's recovering," Deakin said. "She's groggy, but she's still Clarice, so that's good."
Lake Delton police Sgt. Steve Smith confirmed detectives are looking into the case but said police aren't yet able to share details about the ongoing investigation.
Deakin said he doesn't know why anyone would purposely try to hurt dogs like Clarice, but he hopes whoever did this turns him or herself in.
"Whoever did this, you know, you've got 50, 100 pet owners in that complex absolutely livid...go turn yourself in, make it easier on yourself," Deakin said. "Otherwise, I don't know how you're going live in that complex."
The couple set up a GoFundMe page to help with Clarice's veterinary bills. More than $800 had been raised as of Wednesday night.
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