CRAWFORDVILLE, FL (WTXL) -- Four dogs have died in Wakulla County after allegedly being poisoned as part of a plan to burglarize two homes in Crawfordville's Wakulla Station neighborhood.
Scooter and Thomas Brown said they found their dog Lacy vomiting frequently and appearing weak and dehydrated after the incident. They claimed Lacy jumped over their 4-foot fence and made her way over to a dirt road where three neighborhood dogs were licking a bowl of suspicious liquid.
Lacy licked that bowl, too, according to the Browns, who say they're sure this was a case of poisoning.
"She was goofy and silly and a pain in the butt, but she's a dog -- and she was part of our family," said Scooter Brown.
The Browns got Lacy from the pound four years ago. She used to roam around their yard and clear the fence easily, so they built an outdoor kennel for her.
But last Wednesday, the Browns say Lacy was out in the yard when the burglary happened.
"The dog came home very sick," said Thomas Brown. "We kept it for a day. I thought it was just a stomach flu or whatever."
It wasn't until the Browns saw deputies across the street a few days later -- when they started putting the pieces together. They said deputies told them about a homeless couple living in their neighbor's trailer.
"They were going to kill the dogs and then rob his trailer and everything when he wasn't home, so the dogs wouldn't make any noise," Thomas Brown said.
But they say Lacy must've been curious and was at the wrong place at the wrong time.
"It's inconceivable that anybody could do that to an animal," said Scooter Brown. "At first, I was so sad about our loss of the dog. Now, I'm just angry."
The Sheriff's Office says when they tracked down two suspects, Joel Matson tried to run away, but was arrested hiding in a shed.
Deputies discovered that he and Amy Manka had stolen property including credit cards and jewelry, along with meth and drug paraphernalia.
Matson is charged with burglary and larceny, both he and Manka are facing charges of possession of meth, and additional charges are expected.