A Far East El Paso family is devastated after discovering their dogs dead and dying in their backyard. A veterinarian's test of one of the dogs showed high levels of a toxic chemical in her system.
"They were our first babies," said Marissa Solis as she described the family pets: Xena, a 10-year-old Labrador, and Storm, an 8-year-old English bulldog. She and her husband bought the dogs shortly after getting married -- and long before the arrival of their children, now 4 and 6.
"They were so loving," Marissa told ABC-7, sighing and dabbing her eye with a tissue. "And they never bothered anyone. They were such good girls. Good dogs."
On Saturday afternoon, Marissa's husband returned from work and went outside to feed the dogs. That's when he found Storm in the dog house, dead, and Xena having seizures nearby.
They rushed Xena to the animal hospital, where she died. Marissa told ABC-7, the vet tested the dog's urine and discovered ethanol glycol, otherwise known as antifreeze, in her system.
The website pet poison hotline states it only takes a tablespoon or two of antifreeze to kill a dog.
The family's backyard is free of cars and is surrounded by homes. The dedicated area for the dogs is closed off from the street with a high, solid wrought-iron fence. Marissa thinks it's clear someone intentionally hurt their dogs.
"How could someone be capable of that? That's so cruel and inhumane," she said. "We've been here for eight years and never had an issue at all. That's why it's so senseless, that's why it's been so devastating for family and for our children."
A possible sign of wrongdoing: a chewed-up ball. Marissa said she found it near the dogs' other toys in the backyard, but didn't recognize it. While she can't be sure it had anything to do with the dogs' deaths, she said she wanted to keep it, just in case.
For now, the family is looking to install a security system around its home. Marissa asks if anyone knows anything to please speak up.
"I lost my two furry babies and they were a part of my family and they're not replaceable."
El Paso Animal Services confirms with ABC-7 that the Solis family filed a report Sunday. A spokesman said the case is pending -- but can be hard to prosecute without evidence or an idea of who is responsible.