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Jackson poisoned in Willow Glen!

Story courtesy of the San Jose Mercury News

Dog poisoning follows threats
By Linda Goldston
Mercury News

Until someone poisoned Jackson, no one on Iris Court
worried much about the threats to their pets.
The threats arrived in handwritten notes, placed in
mailboxes or tacked to gates. They promised to kill a
neighbor's dog if it barked, another neighbor's cat if
it went into the anonymous note writer's yard.
Two weeks ago someone placed anti-freeze-laced meat
into Jackson's back yard. Two days later the
4-year-old Cavalier King Charles spaniel beloved by
neighborhood children was dead.
Someone's cat was poisoned on Iris Court in San Jose's
Willow Glen neighborhood [map] about seven years ago.
And there was a series of threatening notes to other
pet owners in the neighborhood. But nothing else
seemed to happen, and residents threw most of the
notes away.
It wasn't until a detective started knocking on doors
last week and a wake was held for Jackson that the
meaning of it all sank in. The threats were real.
``If somebody would be that cruel, what else would
they do?'' said Heather Hoffman, who received a
threatening note about her golden retriever, Harry,
two years ago. ``Everybody is, `Oh, God, I can't
believe this.' ''
Police canvassed part of the close-knit neighborhood
last week. Detective Troy Sirmons expects to be back
out in the neighborhood today , knocking on more
doors, looking for more clues.
``I think it's someone in the neighborhood,'' Sirmons
said Monday. ``We have a few leads, and we're

following up on those.''
Sirmons said ``there seems to be a trend.'' He said he
found four other neighbors who had received
threatening notes through the years when he walked
Iris Court last week.
``What's really weird,'' he said, ``is that most of
the neighbors have pets.''
The first poisoned pet -- a cat -- was found dead in
its owner's yard, with a note attached to its collar:
``I warned you about your cat,'' it said.
The second victim was Jackson.
His owner, Holly Kollenborn, had received two notes
before his death. They were left on her side gate,
which meant the writer had to walk down her driveway
to place them there. The first note showed up three
years ago: ``Your dog was barking all night,'' it
said. ``If you don't do something about it, I will.''
The second threatening note was placed on Kollenborn's
gate 1 1/2 years ago. Nothing happened until 10 days
ago, when Kollenborn arrived home about 11 p.m. and
noticed a Ziploc bag on the ground.
``It had canned food in it and was split open, like
somebody placed it there and opened it up,'' she said.
When she saw the food, she opened the back door and
saw that Jackson had been sick.
``Jackson came out to greet me, as he always does, all
happy,'' she said. But the canned dog food left in her
yard scared her enough to call police.
She filed a report and tried to sleep, getting up with
Jackson during the night.
``As the night wore on, it almost seemed like he was
on a muscle relaxer,'' she said. ``He could barely
walk. I waited until the vet opened at 7 a.m. and took
him in.''
A blood test revealed that Jackson had been poisoned
with anti-freeze. The stuff is surprisingly
sweet-tasting and poses a threat to pets if just
spilled on a driveway. Soaked so heavily into the
canned meat left in Kollenborn's yard, Jackson had
little chance.
The dog was given an antidote to try to counter the
poison and rushed to Pacific Veterinary Specialists
and Emergency Service in Capitola. But it was too
late.
``It's a rapidly fatal toxicity unless there's an
early intervention,'' said Dr. Colleen Brady, a
critical care specialist at Pacific Veterinary. ``This
has to stop,'' she added.
At the wake for Jackson on Thursday night, about 100
friends and neighbors came to say goodbye and remember
the little dog they took turns keeping when Kollenborn
was away.
``The owner of the Willow Glen yogurt shop set up a
collection in Jackson's honor at his shop,'' said
Kollenborn's sister, Jennifer Ford. ``The money will
go to a shelter or used to educate people about animal
cruelty.''
The dog had been Kollenborn's first pet as an adult --
``my buddy, my roommate, my friend,'' she said.
Kollenborn is offering a $1,000 reward for information
that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person
who poisoned Jackson, ``a Cavalier Spaniel who led a
cavalier life on Iris Court in Willow Glen,
California.''
Kollenborn's neighbors say they are scared.
Fred Schoor and his family have no dogs of their own
but regularly took care of Jackson. Now they're
worried about their own children.
``It's sick,'' said Schoor. ``It's not about the dog
anymore. Someone has violated our neighborhood.''
Anyone with information about Jackson's poisoning or
the threatening notes is asked to call detective
Sirmons at (408) 277-4161.

Update on story


Mercury News Staff Writer Sandra Gonzales contributed
to this report. Contact Linda Goldston at
lgoldston@mercurynews.com or (408) 920-5862.