Pennsylvania State Police say a 12-year-old boy stole syringes from his neighbor and injected his family dog with air.
Police believe the boy knew that the injection would harm or kill his Labrador mix.
After the injection, the dog became ill and died a week later, said investigating Trooper Jason L. Domenick of the Meadville barracks.
Air injected into the bloodstream causes an air embolism, which can be fatal depending on the size of the air bubble. Small air bubbles can block the capillaries in vital organs, including the brain. If a large bubble makes its way to the heart, the organ compresses, blood flow stops, and then the heart does, too.
Domenick says the investigation is still underway, but charges of theft and animal cruelty are expected to be filed against the boy in Crawford County Juvenile Court.
“I’ve never hear of anybody doing that,” LeRoy Stearns, executive director of the Crawford County Humane Society, told the Meadville Tribune. “That’s a new one on me. I’m dumbfounded.”
Stearns said dog vaccinations are given into the fatty layer under the skin, and anything “else should be done by a licensed veterinarian or licensed veterinary technician.”