There's a sign at the end of Cliff Clark's driveway that says his dogs were poisoned, and on top of that sign is what he says is proof.
His black labrador Pee Joe, short for Peter Joseph, died Sunday after eating antifreeze, Monday, his corpse is for all to see on the top of the plywood sign Clark made at his home in the Dunn Acres neighborhood in Horry County.
"This is the third dog that has been poisoned," says Clark. "I had a dog a few years ago die because of eating antifreeze, and I've also got another dog right now that's been poisoned and almost died."
Sunday, veterinarians performed surgery on Maisy, Clark's other black lab, and removed her kidney after she ate what is believed to be rat poisoning.
Dr. Randy Werkhoven of the Waccamaw Regional Veterinary Center in Conway said Maisy needed blood transfusions and Vitamin K-1 to counteract the rat poisoning effects. "She was anally bleeding," says Werkhoven. "We haven't confirmed that Maisy ate rat poisoning, but all signs point to it at this point."
Werkhoven confirmed Pee Joe's death was from eating antifreeze, and he believes someone mixed it in food for the dog.
"Pee Joe had a full belly when he came in, and when he started vomiting, the antifreeze and digested food were coming out at the same time." He says after the first hour of ingesting antifreeze, an animal's kidneys irreversibly shut down.
Dr. Kevin Kristiek of Carolina Forest Veterinary says it only takes a teaspoon of antifreeze to kill a cat and four teaspoons to kill a 10 pound dog. "It's pretty straightforward," he says. "We'll do full blood work to determine the liver and kidney function, urine analysis to see if there is any crystals, as well as clotting times to see if their blood is clotting appropriately. That's the best way to differentiate among the various poisons that are out there."
Clark's dogs have electric collars hooked up to an invisible fence. He says his dogs occassionally get out and run around the neighborhood, but never cause trouble.
Clark says putting his dead dog on display may be harsh, but he wants others to get the message. "I know it may seem like a little much," says Clark, "but so is killing someone's dog. Pee Joe was like a member of the family."
Clark plans to file a report with Horry County Police on Monday.
Isaac Lewis lives in Dunn Acres and says two of his cats in the past year have died in similar ways.
"Six months ago, a cat I had was poisoned and died from antifreeze and four months ago, another died from rat poison," says Lewis.
Lewis says the neighborhood has an idea of who could be poisoning animals, but would not say who specifically on the record.
"If you've ever had to watch an animal suffer from poisoning, it'll break your heart," said Lewis.