Greene County K-9 falls ill; investigators suspect foul play

The Greene County Sheriff's Department said tests showed high levels of toxins

Micah Smith, WJHL staff - GREENEVILLE (WJHL) - Greene County Sheriff's Office K-9 Ren is recovering after a near death experience.

Ren's partner, Officer Mark Crum, said the dog collapsed on his front porch. She was taken to a veterinarian and sent home, but about 15-20 minutes later she collapsed and Crum said Ren was really short of breath.

"It was heartbreaking because she's a part of the family now," said Crum.

After three nights at University of Tennessee Animal Hospital, Crum said Ren is doing much better. However, Greene County Sheriff Pat Hankins said test results showed high levels of toxins in Ren's body, which could be a sign that she was intentionally poisoned.

"We may never know for sure, but I do feel like Ren was poisoned.  And from the way the vet, they feel that way too. But we cannot be 100 percent sure," said Sheriff Hankins. "This being a police dog that's a felony, just like if you shoot a police dog, it's just like shooting an officer. That dog is an officer and they will be charged."

Crum said he is happy his partner pulled through. He credits her recovery to good doctors and community support. Thanks to donations, Ren's medical bills were paid in full.

"The community support we have received over Ren getting sick has just been tremendous. We've had people donate money, one donater came in and actually donated $2,000," said Hankins. He encourages anyone who may have information regarding Ren's illness, to contact the sheriff's office immediately at 423-798-1800.

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