By Rupert Howell
An arrest was made Thursday morning in connection with recent animal poisonings affecting an area east of Batesville at Baker and Woodruff Roads following weeks of investigation by Panola County Sheriff’s Department and the Department of Agriculture.
Brad McCulley, 43, of 904 Woodruff Road, Batesville, was arrested and charged with poisoning animals by a sheriff’s deputy who had investigated the poisonings of several area dogs.
The Mississippi Department of Agriculture joined the investigation due to the use of the pesticide, temric, according to officials.
The arrest came on a day following the latest alleged poisoning on Wednesday when pet owners Jason and Jenny Herron’s German Shepherd died a suspicious death.
Veterinarian Leigh Taylor Unruh said four USDA investigators came to Family Pet Hospital Thursday morning to send the dog’s carcass to a lab to confirm the diagnosis.
Last week Department of Agriculture spokesman John Campbell confirmed the ongoing investigation after Panola County Sheriff Dennis Darby said his department had no way to test for the poison and requested help from the Department of Agriculture.
Campbell said in an email last week that the incident occurred on a “small parcel of land,” calling the poisonings an “isolated incident.”
“To the best of our knowledge the area has been cleared of pesticide in question,” Campbell’s email stated.
But that was before the most recent pet death in the same area.
Dr. L.T. Unruh said, “That’s what is so bad about temric,” explaining that other animals can eat the originally poisoned animal and have the same affect.
“The secondary animals are going to die as well. It’s some bad stuff,” she said.
Unruh said she understood the poison used by the suspect had been confiscated.
McCulley has since bonded out of Panola County Jail.