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Family Dog Attacked with Chemicals

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ALTOONA, Iowa - An Altoona family wants to know who burned their beloved dog with chemicals, and why.

The look in Boomer's eyes says it all. The five-year-old pit bull is in pain. Sometime last week, someone poured some type of caustic liquid, possibly acid, on Boomer's back while he was in his Altoona yard. His owners took him to the vet when they saw the open sores.

"They started examining him, trimmed the hair back, and ended up following this trail and found this one, this one, and all this down the back," Boomer's owner, Jeff Carstens said pointing to the lesions.

"In my mind I can't help but but think, Boomer's a pit bull. And this was directed only towards him," added Boomer's other owner, Lichele Nyberg. "It's heartbreaking."

Heartbreaking because Boomer is a gentle giant and a deeply loved part of the family. "Because he's not aggressive," Nyberg said fighting back tears. "I can't even imagine his reaction and if it hurt him at the time. How he felt, you know. It's frustrating."

Boomer's family just moved to Altoona a couple of months ago. They say they don't have any enemies and they've never had any complaints about Boomer because he's usually in the house, in his kennel, or being supervised in the yard. "He knows not to cross the driveway, knows his boundaries, and will listen if he's told, 'hey too far, don't go there.' He'll actually stop", Carstens said.

Boomer is on medication for the pain and to fight off infection. He is expected to ok. Nyberg doubts whoever did this with turn themselves in. She just wants to warn people that someone who could do this to a dog is still out there. "A normal person does not do that. To a pit bull, to any other breed of dog. You can't be normal. Those are severe burns," she said. "Who does that?"


  • Holly Johnson

    This is horrible. Just because he’s a pit bull doesn’t make him a bad dog. I’d personally wouldn’t own one and I’m not comfortable taking my dogs into a dog park with one I’m not familiar with but I’ve meet and know some that are very good dogs. It’s usually a handeler problem and not the breed of dog. Truly, what kind of human does this to a anaimal?

  • Mike

    Maybe if the laws protecting animals and the abuse one may suffer were more severe in punishment….. I am so sorry this happened. I truly feel for the owner and the dog. :(

  • Guest

    This broke my heart to read this. Just because he’s a pitbull does not mean he should be tortured! I really hope they find out who did this.

  • Hugo S LaVia

    “He knows not to cross the driveway, knows his boundaries, and will listen if he’s told, ‘hey too far, don’t go there.’ He’ll actually stop”, Carstens said.

    If you could train young humans that well, you’d be a bazillionnaire.

  • anthony

    Just wondering it they got into a bad batch of flea and tick ointment? The kind that you put down the middle of a dogs back,__________line

    • katie

      It wouldn’t have been Frontline. Frontline isnt caustic. Bio spot made by Hartz is and will cause burns like this.

  • Troy Hendrickson

    If he’s never out in the yard unsupervised, then how could anyone have done this? The thing that concerns me is in the statements of the owner that lead me to believe the yard isn’t fenced in, nor is the dog on a leash when outside. That’s just basically bad policy for any pet, for their safety, and the safety of others. In this case, obviously the pet was the one harmed and the person who did it is a twisted sociopath, but hopefully lessons will be learned by the owners and the person who did it caught and prosecuted.

    • lichelenyberg

      First off, thank you for you concern. You are right, our yard is not fenced in. Our lot is almost an acre and well, that would just be pretty expensive to fence in if you ask me. We do know it is required to have a six foot fence and we are in the process of building a fenced area however there are steps that need to be taken, talking to the city, mapping out water/ gas lines etc. Not only that, we just moved into our home a few months ago so we didn’t think we would be facing this problem especially in our area. When our dogs are outside unsupervised yes, they are in a secured kennel. When we our outside with them no, sometimes they are not on leashes. When we moved in we were sure our neighbors would have concerns about seeing a pit bull moving in so we introduced all of our dogs to them so they could see for themselves that Boomer was a kind, playful dog. Again, I do appreciate you concern and the kind words you did have but please understand my frustration in my response that saying having our pets outside to play is “bad policy”.

      • Jeremy Seibert

        Im kind of on the fence on this issue so I will try to be as civil as possible. As a dog owner this is terrible and anybody that would harm an animal like that has serious problems. Second, as a citizen of Altoona also, it doesn’t shock me people would do something like this. You have to understand this is the suburbs, with lots of middle to upper class families with kids and pets. You can bet the moment you moved in word spread through the neighborhood quickly of your dog and everyone was keeping an eye out.

        There is a certain stigma with these type of dogs so you need to be prepared to deal with that from people. While you describe him as “kind” and “playful” you actually have no idea what its actually capable of when given the chance. Im sure all pit bull owners would say that same thing about their dogs. I personally watched my 15 pound terrier get attacked by a pit bull mix at the dog park in Altoona. If I wasnt standing 2 feet away at the time he would have been torn to shreds just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I had to take him to the vet for 2 puncture wounds on his neck. And that was just a pit bull mix, not a full breed. And while you could make the argument any dog could do that, I have been around hundreds, if not thousands of other dogs with him and that was the only time it happened.

      • niki o

        as i reply to mr altoona dog got attacked by a pit mix first of all most “pit mixes” arent even pit mixes they are mutts who have characteristics of a bully breed dog and second you have no clue what your dog is capable of?! did you raise her dog? Do you know how her dog is trained? i love all dogs! i rescue dogs… Most of the time pit bull and all bull breed dogs are better tempered have better manners and are easier to train then any kind of dog in any rate NO ONE! has the right to hurt any animal REGARDLESS OF WHAT BREED! Thats like saying she black so shes going to attack me or because that man is white he doesnt fight are you kidding me right now?! EDUCATE YOURSELF ON CANINES!

        Ps i truly am sorry for your little baby that got attacked you should make sure that the owners pay for what was done but as far as the dog goes it was bad training bad call and yes poor ownership….

        As for there being no fence…. If you are present outside with your animal fine and if they are in secured kennels fine but you can not allow your dog to roam free while you are not home its not safe for your dog.

  • Stephen Knode

    They need to find this sicko, next they will attack and kill people, animal abuse is the start, they will tire and go after humans next, these are the sicko of our world and need to be put away for ever.

  • nichole

    What kind of sick nasty person would do something like this? This really breaks my heart. I hope the dog recovers fine.

  • jerry

    Typical punk to do something like that . I’d like to catch whoever did that and teach them a little revenge 101

  • Nicole Hampton

    I rescued Grant, my spoiled rotten pitty mix, almost 2 years ago. He had been set on fire with the gel fuel you use in fire pots. This was not an accident, when I got him I took him to Des Moines Animal Hospital. They performed many laser therapy sessions on his open wounds & this helped red blood cells to work double time giving him a scab. Something that had not happened ever. I highly recommend this treatment & would think twice about doing it again. It cut Grant’s recovery in half. I would be willing to show pics & progress pics directly with Boomer’s family. Hope he recovers quickly!

  • Janet Behrens

    Defntely need stronger anmal abuse laws that are enforced and sentenced as required, no slap on wrist and a walk. As stated before animal abuse leads to human abuse sooner or later.

  • emma

    We just moved to Altoona with our Rottweiler. I will definately be keeping a closer eye on him now!

  • Stephanie K

    There is a special place in Hell for this type of person. I have a large mastiff and I never realized the bad rap that ‘aggressive looking’ dogs get. They are babies and completely well mannered.

    i would hate to see how it be for the human population if we used the same theory on humans as they do for dogs.

    Oh look that is a big dog and it has a big bark- hes aggressive put him down. Oh look, that is a big human and he has a loud voice, shoot him.

    Oh look the have a pit bull- I have heard that all pitbulls are mean. So then, using that thinking, because some people are covered in tattoos and I have tattoos that makes me as bad as the rapist??

    Mastiffs have been bred to guard their property, home and people – they don’t know how to do anything but that. So, then all of our soldiers over seas are bad and aggressive? They have been trained to guard our country, our homes and our people…

    This is not acceptable.This was stereotyping…

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