13 dead cats reported: One diagnosed with anti-freeze poisoning

DICKINSON, N.D. - Roger and Faith Fink of Manning give cats to farmers to use as mousers but after this weekend, there are 13 less to keep the rodents out.

DICKINSON, N.D. - Roger and Faith Fink of Manning give cats to farmers to use as mousers but after this weekend, there are 13 less to keep the rodents out.

"It came as quite a shock," Faith Fink said of the 13 dead cats she found at her home. "Especially when I found a pile of four dead cats on top of the hay I just busted into tears."

She also has sick cats and took one of them to West Dakota Vet Clinic Inc. in Dickinson Monday afternoon, where Veterinarian Kim Brummond diagnosed it with anti-freeze poisoning.

"Anti-freeze poisoning is untreatable. It is highly and rapidly fatal," Brummond said, adding it doesn't take much, half a teaspoon would kill.

The Finks first suspected something was up Friday morning when Roger Fink went out to feed the cats and round some up to take to a farm, but he did not see any of them come out to eat.


"But then the same thing happened the next day," Faith Fink said. "We also saw one of the momma cats with a rodent and she was calling her litter and when they didn't come, that's when we knew something was up."

The Finks started looking for the cats at that point.

"We started finding them in the garage, in the hay barns and in the mangers, just laying there," she said.

"Faith advised us of what she found Monday morning but unless she would do an autopsy, there is no way for us to know how they died," Dunn County Sheriff Don Rockvoy said.

The Finks feel autopsies are too expensive. Anyway, they say, they know the results.

"It is definitely against the law to kill a healthy animal," Rockvoy said. "It would be inhumane treatment."

The Finks have been raising cats for 19 years to give to area farmers and ranchers to keep away the mice.

"We rely on the Finks for farm cats," Killdeer resident Anita Woodbury said. "We were going to pick some up this weekend but obviously that didn't happen as we move hay in that also brings in mice and the cats are good mousers."


Woodbury said there are a lot of farmers looking for cats because there seems to be more mice this year, due to the rain and wet conditions.

"We are down to four little ones out of 17, and only two of our six adult cats survived," Faith Fink said.

"We know they were poisoned and we know who did it -- we just can't prove it," Faith Fink said.

"If someone is deliberately killing someone else's animal it will be dealt with on the law enforcement side," Rockvoy said.

He has not had any other reports of dead animals.

"We live in downtown Manning and there are a lot of people in our community that have pets, what if somebody else's dog or cat would have gotten into the poison?" Faith Fink said.

People talk about these "Knife River" cats, Faith Fink said.

"The story is that years ago a bunch of cats went feral down by the Knife River when our little town started fading away and farmers have always relied on them," she said.

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