In one of the saddest, and strangest stories of 2017 so far, an Idaho family has been devastated by the loss of their family pet at the hands of a negligent government.
The tragedy occurred in Salmon, Idaho as 14 year old Canyon Mansfield was walking the family dog Casey near his home. During their jovial excursion, Canyon stumbled upon a mysterious pipe-like object embedded in the ground. As a curious young man, Canyon accidentally activated the device, which then sprayed a strange cloud of orange smoke into the air. The young man was cognizant enough to wash out his eye with snow after it was sprayed in the blast, but then noticed that things were not so simple for his 3 year old Labrador Retriever.
“The explosion sprayed the boy and his 3-year-old, 90-pound (40 kg) pet with toxic cyanide gas, according to the boy’s mother, Theresa Mansfield.
“’Canyon said there was a bang like a bomb, then an explosion of an orange substance that covered him and Casey, who was writhing in pain on the ground before he died right in front of Canyon,’ she said.
“Her husband, Pocatello physician Mark Mansfield, rushed to the scene and pounded on the dog’s chest in a futile effort to revive the animal.
“The family and first-responders underwent decontamination procedures and the boy, who was sprayed in the face, was tested for cyanide poisoning at a hospital for the second time Friday, officials and family members said.
“The device, called an M-44, was among several placed in the area by Wildlife Services, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that targets coyotes, wolves, cougars, foxes and other animals considered nuisances to farms and ranches.
“Thursday’s incident marked the first ‘unintentional lethal take of a dog’ by an M-44 in Idaho since 2014, and Wildlife Services seeks to minimize hazards to pets and humans by posting warnings, spokesman Andre Bell said.”
The absurdity of unmarked, government-placed, poison-laced explosives within that proximity to a family home is utterly confounding and disturbing, especially given that other pets have similarly been killed within the last three years. A sign, which would not be a deterrent to the intended targets of these devices, could have saved this family from the heartbreaking loss of their beloved dog Casey, and could have prevented countless other senseless incidents involving M-44’s.