Dogs at higher risk of chocolate poisoning during Christmastime

Published: Friday, December 22, 2017 @ 3:43 PM



Don Arnold/Getty Images
(Don Arnold/Getty Images)

It’s no secret chocolate is dangerous for dogs, but the risk is even higher during the holiday season, according to a new report.

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Researchers from institutions in England recently conducted a study, published in the journal Vet Record, to determine how often pets come in contact with the treat. 

To do so, they scoured the Small Animal Veterinary Surveillance Network database, which includes patient documents from 500 clinics. They examined 2.7 million records of dogs from November 2012 and May 2017 and identified 386 cases of chocolate ingestion suffered by animals.

Safe Holiday Foods You Can Feed Your Dog

After analyzing the results, they found that dogs are most exposed to chocolate during the Christmas season. In fact, chances are five times higher than holiday-free times of the year.

“Dogs love a chocolate treat and at Christmas there are plenty about. Sadly dogs can’t eat chocolate safely so many of them end up making an unplanned visit to the vet, which can disrupt the celebrations,” co-author Peter-John Noble said in a statement.

Why is that?

Chocolate contains a toxic ingredient for dogs called theobromine, which is a caffeinelike stimulant. It can lead to an upset stomach, a racing heartbeat, dehydration, seizures or even death.

>> Related: Bone treats send dozens of dogs to vets, FDA issues warning

But December isn’t the only troublesome month. Easter, which is in March or April, is a risk period, too, as the candy is more likely to be in the home. 

To combat the issue, researchers are cautioning people to keep festive chocolate away from their pups. In the case their pooch does consume it, owners should see the vet as soon as possible and be prepared to quantify how much chocolate was eaten.

“Big data is allowing us to perform wide scale studies of issues like chocolate exposure,” Noble said. “This will help us to understand the influence of age, breed, season and geography on a wide range of different problems.”

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Florida police officer shot in deadly standoff is breathing on his own, sources say

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 4:54 AM

Kevin Valencia, an Orlando police officer who was shot in the head during a deadly standoff at an apartment complex, is now breathing on his own, sources say.
Orlando Police Department
Kevin Valencia, an Orlando police officer who was shot in the head during a deadly standoff at an apartment complex, is now breathing on his own, sources say.(Orlando Police Department)

An Orlando, Florida, police officer who was shot in the head earlier this month during a deadly standoff at an apartment complex is now breathing on his own, sources told WFTV.

>> On WFTV.com: Judge approved deal that kept man in deadly Orlando standoff out of prison, records show

Police said Gary Lindsey Jr. shot Officer Kevin Valencia, who has been hospitalized since the June 10 shooting. During a 20-hour standoff, Lindsey shot and killed four children – two of whom were his own – before killing himself, police said.

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A Mass will be celebrated at Orlando's St. James Cathedral on Saturday for the children, who ranged in age from 1 to 12. The Mass is open to the public.

Click here to donate to Valencia’s family.

Click here to donate to the children’s family.

>> On WFTV.com: Long criminal past, rocky relationship led up to shooting of officer, four kids' deaths

4 Children, Suspect in Police Shooting Dead After Standoff

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'A very tragic, sad ending': No survivors after family standoff

Published: Tuesday, June 12, 2018 @ 5:08 PM

4 Children, Suspect in Police Shooting Dead After Standoff

The four children taken hostage by a man accused of shooting an Orlando police officer have died after a standoff that lasted for about 20 hours, police said.

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Orlando police Chief John Mina announced early Tuesday morning that suspect Gary Lindsey shot and killed the children -- two of whom were his own -- and then killed himself.

On Tuesday, the attorney representing the family posted a GoFundMe page and released photos and the names of the young victims.

Click here to donate to the family's funeral expenses

"We had been working very hard during this long day to bring this situation to a peaceful resolution. Unfortunately it has a very tragic and sad ending,” Mina said. “Our hearts go out to the family of those four children."

Mina said negotiators lost communication with Lindsey around 8:30 p.m. Monday because of a poor connection. When SWAT team members moved in to bring him a phone, they could see that one of the children was dead. Lindsey's body was found in a closet.

The children ranged in age from 1 to 11 years old. Orlando police have not released the names of the children. Neighbors told Eyewitness News Monday that two of the children belonged to the suspect, and the other two were a girlfriend’s.

The standoff started late Sunday night when police said Lindsey beat an ex-girlfriend, who called police to report a domestic dispute at the Westbrook apartment complex on Eaglesmere Drive, just north of Universal Studios.

WFTV’s helicopter was over the scene of the standoff late Monday. The windows of the apartment appeared to be broken and there were no lights coming from the apartment. 

Lindsey opened fire when officers arrived, shooting Officer Kevin Valencia, police said. Sources said that Valencia was shot in the eye. Fellow officers rushed Valencia to Orlando Regional Medical Center where he underwent surgery early Monday morning. Mina said Valencia suffered “very significant injuries,” but is expected to survive.

“Everyone is sending prayers for Kevin and his family,” Mina said.

Police evacuated residents from the Westbrook apartment complex shortly after the standoff started. Many of them spent Monday morning at a McDonald’s, before police relocated them to a nearby Holiday Inn. Police started to allow residents back into their homes Tuesday morning. 

Court records show Lindsey had an extensive criminal history. Paperwork shows three arrests since 2004. In 2009, Lindsey pleaded no contest to charges of arson and fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer after investigators said he set an Orange County home on fire after an argument with his girlfriend.

Records show he received 35 years of community supervision, and while under supervision, he has been picked up for a series of probation violations, culminating in 2012 with an aggravated battery and aggravated assault charge in Orange County, stemming from a fight with another girlfriend.

Lindsey was released when the state couldn't file charges after 30 days.

Court records show Lindsey had an extensive criminal history. Paperwork shows three arrests since 2004. In 2009, Lindsey pleaded no contest to charges of arson and fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer after investigators said he sent an Orange County home after an argument with his girlfriend.

Records show he received 35 years of community supervision, and while under supervision, he has been picked up for a series of probation violations, culminating in 2012 with an aggravated battery and aggravated assault charge in Orange County, stemming from a fight with another girlfriend.

Lindsey was released when the state couldn't file charges after 30 days.

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Man arrested after trying to pay waitress with her own stolen credit card, police say

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 2:26 AM

Shamon West was arrested after Shannon's Restaurant waitress Flora Lunsford went to swipe the credit card and noticed her own name on it, police in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, said.
AhmadArdity / Pixabay.com
Shamon West was arrested after Shannon's Restaurant waitress Flora Lunsford went to swipe the credit card and noticed her own name on it, police in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, said.(AhmadArdity / Pixabay.com)

A suspected thief is behind bars after police say he handed an Arkansas waitress her own stolen card while paying his bill at a Pine Bluff restaurant.

According to The Associated Press, Shamon West, 21, was arrested Tuesday after Shannon's Restaurant waitress Flora Lunsford went to swipe the credit card and noticed her own name on it. She called police, who searched West and found Lunsford's Social Security card and driver's license, as well, the AP reported.

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The arrest came two days after someone took Lunsford's purse from her car, which was parked outside a gas station two blocks from the restaurant, KATV reported.

West now faces charges of theft by receiving and forgery.

Read more here or here

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WATCH: Thieves steal kiddie pool from family's backyard on Father's Day

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 3:56 AM

File photo of a swimming pool.
PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay.com
File photo of a swimming pool.(PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay.com)

A pair of thieves made off with a Nebraska family's inflatable kiddie pool on Father's Day – and the bizarre backyard incident was caught on camera.

>> Click here to watch

Case of the Kiddie Pool Caper

SUMMER STOLEN! My exclusive story tonight at 10 on KETV NewsWatch 7 is going to make your blood boil! It's the case of the kiddie pool caper! And it's all caught on camera. Police need your help tracking down these women. This one leaves you scratching your head. @Omaha Police Department Omaha Crime Stoppers

Posted by Michelle Bandur KETV on Tuesday, June 19, 2018

According to KETV, Brandon Turner of Omaha said he and his two children were at the zoo Sunday afternoon when he received an alert from his home security camera. He then watched live from his phone as two women drained and dragged the kids' inflatable pool from the Turners' backyard.

>> Man arrested after trying to pay waitress with her own stolen credit card, police say

Turner's youngest, 5-year-old Alex, had a message for the thieves.

"Give my swimming pool back!" he exclaimed, watching the footage in dismay.

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Turner was shocked and disappointed to see people stealing from children.

"Really? Really?" he told KETV. "That's all I could think of – really?"

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