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Woman warns other dog owners after seven poodles found dead

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich --Lisa Tofel says her poodles have always been safe in her northeast Grand Rapids backyard. Until a few weeks ago, when the dogs that were allowed to come in and out of her home freely were found dead.  In all, seven poodle puppies died.

Tofel says, she knows it wasn't anything in the yard. She's been raising poodles as a breeder for the better part of two decades, and has never had something like this happen before.

“It had to be a poisoning. I mean, they weren’t sick. You don’t have multiple dogs die at the exact same time. It was obvious they were panicking, they didn’t feel good. They were foaming at the mouth before they passed, which was pretty gruesome,” Lisa Tofel said.

Tofel's daughter found two dogs dead in the kitchen in mid-April. The only two dogs to survive were the youngest, who were kept inside at all times because they were so little.

“It’s not okay that this happened, it’s just not. They’re babies. They’re innocent. They didn’t deserve this, my family didn’t deserve this,” Tofel said.

Lisa also says she's reported this to Grand Rapids Police, but says she knows it's difficult to prove anything at this point. Lisa says she just wants other dog owners to know so they can be on the lookout.

She's also planning to get security cameras.

Police confirm they are investigating the incident. Anyone with information is asked to call them at 616-456-3400 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

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  • David

    So, this happened in mid-april. Has there been any autopsies done to see what the actual cause of death was? Just saying “It had to be a poisoning. I mean, they weren’t sick”, sounds a bit suspicious. The dogs were freely able to go in and out as they pleased and they didn’t have a security system already in place? Why so many dogs? Are they breeders? So many questions.

    • David

      Overlooked that it said they are breeders. So, another question. Are they like those disgusting puppy mill type breeders? And again, as breeders, why didn’t they have a security set up already if they have been doing this for so long? The plot thickens….

  • Kellie O'Donnell

    This whole situation is literally because a backyard breeder is trying to get sympathy and more money through her business. She does not have a license as required by the City of Grand Rapids to be breeding dogs. Per her “information” that she shared with her neighbors, she refused to have the dogs necropsied (which would prove what actually killed them). DO NOT give her the attention she is craving; doing so means that more helpless animals who are kept in horrid conditions will be forcefully mated repeatedly, their puppies ripped away from them to be sold for large profit because very minimal health care is given.

    • David

      Those of us in the neighborhood have questioned the smell that encompasses their house. We see kids there, so, what are the living conditions like on the inside? Maybe the city needs to take a look at everything about that pit.

  • Alecia

    I have messaged her without any response as to what the confirmed cause of death is. I believe it is something reporters should follow up on to confirm for the audience poisoning what in fact the case.

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