A picture, posted by a viewer on our Newschannel 6 Facebook page, was reportedly taken in the front yard of Henrietta resident Donna Douglas Nichols. In it you can see three plastic containers filled with a yellowish substance and a bottle of antifreeze nearby. That's exactly what clay county deputies say they found when they went to investigate.
"These bowls of antifreeze were left out in plain view and in an open area where anything could have got in contact with it..not only just animals but anybody," says Clay County Sheriff Kenny Lemons.
The arrest warrant affidavit filed against Nichols states a neighbor reported Nichols left water in the containers for a few days before switching the contents to antifreeze. Veterinarians say antifreeze is a slow killer.
"The prognosis is extremely poor for survival and that's generally related to the fact that you get certain crystals that develop inside the kidneys and create kidney failure," says Dr. Audrey Espinosa, Associate Vet at Dry Forks Clinic.
And it doesn't take a lot to seriously hurt an animal.
"If a cat walks through a puddle of antifreeze licks the paws that's enough to put them into kidney failure, so it doesn't take very much," says Dr. Espinosa.
Officials say when they confronted Nichols she told them the stray cats in her neighborhood made too much noise and tore at the insulation under her house. Doctor Espinosa says there is help available for neighborhoods facing similar problems.
"We do have a shelter here that serves this particular county and if it was a problem with just having to many kitty cats in her neighborhood, we're willing to work with anyone and try to place those cats in other homes if not find outside shelters that can take them," says Dr. Espinosa.