Albuquerque couple suspects bird poisoning led to dog’s death

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – Zorra was a big dog with a calm personality.

“She was just an easygoing gentle giant,” said Zorra’s owner Donna Remelius.

The 10-year-old Great Pyrenees is now in a grave in the Rio Rancho backyard she used to call home after her appetite got the best of her.

It happened over Labor Day weekend. Remelius came into the backyard and noticed a dead dove by the pool. She and a friend soon found two more, one of them half eaten. In the hours that followed, the healthy dog seemed to be struggling.

“By the afternoon, Zorra started acting weak and she wasn’t getting up and she was throwing up,” said a tearful Remeius. “I just said if she’s not better by morning, we have to take her to the doctor, and Zorra didn’t make it to morning.”

Remelius and her husband suspect the doves had something to do with their dog’s death. They went around to other neighbors and found they too had discovered dead birds in their yard.

While they didn’t have the birds or Zorra tested, they are convinced the birds were poisoned and that poison was what ultimately killed their dog.

“My dog was where she was supposed to be and I did what I was supposed to do and my dog still was killed and that is really wrong,” Remelius said.

Capt. Colin Duff with Game and Fish tells KRQE News 13 it is very possible the couple is correct but without tests, it’s impossible to know for sure.

Remelius says if someone is poisoning birds, they hope their heartbreak will convince them to stop.

Poisoning birds can violate state or federal law, depending on the species affected. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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