Lafayette County family looks for justice after 3 dogs found dead

A Lafayette County family is hoping to find justice after three of their dogs were found dead Sunday,

Tracy Butson and her partner, Travis Halverson, were relieved to finally find dogs to help on their farm this past fall.

“Norah and Bailey were Travis’ birthday present. He wanted purebred heelers. They were a joy to have. We’d been trying to train them to work with the cattle, so they were just starting to figure it out,” Butson said.

An incident on Sunday will keep them from ever completing that training. Butson said Travis called to tell her the puppies and their 5-year-old Australian shepherd, Bella, were found dead on their property.

“I was stunned. I couldn’t believe it,” Butson said.

She was all the more shocked after hearing they were discovered with foam coming out of their mouths.The family believes the dogs were poisoned and suspect a nearby neighbor had something to do with it.

“I could’ve understood it if it was accidental, but there can’t really be an accident when it’s three puppies and (our neighbor) knew our schedule of leaving,” Butson said.

The family contacted the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office to investigate.

Sheriff Reg Gill said a deputy responded to the home, photographed the scene, and spoke with the suspected neighbor.

Gill said the deputy didn’t discover any evidence of foul play, but does suspect this is an isolated incident.

“We’re not aware of any others. We don’t have any kind of ongoing problem with dogs being poisoned,” Gill said.

Hoping to uncover any answers, Butson sent two of her dogs to a Madison animal hospital for autopsies.

“I want my puppies to have justice, because there’s no rhyme or reason,” Butson said.

Gill said this is an ongoing investigation and asks anyone with information to contact the Lafayette Count Crimestoppers at 377-232-8477 or the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office at 608-776-4870.