Poisoned meat eaten by dogs, neighbor in Bethany arrested

Washington County

Erik Mighells facing a charge of animal abuse

BETHANY, Ore. (KOIN) — John and Shannon Motter said they can’t imagine life without their dogs Gracie and Barry.

“We got both of them when they were little,” Shannon said. Gracie is “a pomeranian chihuahua mix. (Barry) is pomeranian shih tzu mix.”

Monday night, Barry hopped on their couch with a hamburger in his mouth. But the hamburger was coated with green pellets. John was immediately concerned and then became terrified when he researched what the pellets might be.

He realized it was likely rat poison.

Shannon and John said the rat poison stops their blood from clotting so they bleed internally.

They rushed the dogs to the veterinarian as soon as they could. Gracie and Barry are now on medication to try to stop the impacts of any poison they may have ingested. But they said sometimes the medications don’t work and they won’t know if their dogs are out of the woods for another few days.

“It’s a horrible death,” John said. “And it’s a long and painful death.”

After the first burger was found in Barry’s mouth, he found a second one in his yard. He believes it came over his neighbor’s fence. A Washington County deputy came out and walked the property, he said.

Erik Mighells of Bethany is accused of poisoning his neighbor’s dogs, August 5, 2021 (Washington County Sheriff’s Office)

“After the second one, she came on site. We walked the property with her,” John said.

The property was cleared. But then Tuesday night a third patty laced with poison was placed or thrown on his yard — while he was installing security cameras.

Their neighbor, Erik Mighells, was arrested August 4, two days after the first poisoned meat was tossed into the yard. The 57-year-old is facing a charge of first-degree animal abuse. He’s being held in the Washington County Jail.

The Motters can only watch Gracie and Barry and wait for the tests and the bloodwork.

“They are already on the medication,” Shannon said. “But we don’t know. They could not make it.”

John said the neighborhood is on alert, concerned for other pets and animals in the community. He’s advising his neighbors to scour their yards for anything that looks similar to what they found in theirs.

Erik Mighells of Bethany is accused of poisoning his neighbor’s dogs, August 5, 2021 (Washington County Sheriff’s Office)

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