Pet-Safe Anti-Freeze and Snuggle Bug

Pet-Safe Anti-Freeze and Snuggle Bug

    Updated 7 November 1998. URL is

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In Memory of Snuggle Bug

by Joy Hann

Joy Hann is vice-president and former president of the Wells County Humane Society. She wrote this as a letter to the editor in the Bluffton News-Banner in October, 1998. She is a full-time speech therapist in the school systems here. Outside of work, her life is dedicated to charitable works and her pets.

In September 1998, we had the Bluffton Street Fair. Many of you saw or visited the Humane Society Booth in the Industrial Tent. If you did, you may have seen me sitting there with my two dogs, Snuggle Bug, a black and white fox terrier mix, and Dinky, a brown terrier mix. I may have introduced them to you as " the children" or "my babies". Perhaps one of the dogs, probably Snuggle Bug, greeted you or your children. Snuggle Bug often hopped up on the table to see people passing by. She found it very exciting to trot over to get a little attention or sniff at whatever food you may have been carrying or a scent that may have been left on your fingers.

She won’t be greeting you next year. She died Thursday at 3:00 P.M. Actually she was euthanized to avoid a death of seizures and coma. Why? Because sometime Saturday, probably at the Street Fair, she tasted some antifreeze. It may have been a little puddle on the ground and she took a lick of it. It may have just been something she walked through and licked off of her feet. Snuggle Bug only weighed 13 pounds. One lick from the ground would have been sufficient to be lethal to her.

I didn’t even know she had ingested any antifreeze. If I had, and had gotten medical attention within two hours, she may have been saved.

I always take very good care of my dogs. They are always leashed. I don’t allow them to stay out in bad weather. I make sure they eat a proper diet and have plenty of fresh water. I don’t allow them to play with small objects that may obstruct their airways or their digestive systems. They always have their immunizations and their heart worm preventatives. I am a good pet owner. Imagine my shock and disgust that this should happen to my dog.

Snuggle Bug’s journey to death was not pleasant and peaceful. Saturday evening she vomited. That happens. I wasn’t terribly worried. I assured her that it was ok and that she would feel better tomorrow. Sunday she couldn’t even keep water down. she shook. I thought she had a bug. I was beginning to get a little worried.

Monday she was put on intravenous fluids to combat dehydration at the veterinary office. She never came home again until I buried her under a tree where the birds and squirrels she loved to bark at sit.

In the course of the next four days before she died, she turned yellow and ultimately stopped producing urine. Her liver and kidneys stopped working. Her red blood cell and platelet counts plummeted. She was constantly nauseous. I visited her at the Veterinarian’s on Wednesday. She struggled to get up and come to me but she couldn’t, so I leaned into her cubicle and caressed her tiny body. She rolled over so I could scratch her tummy.

She looked at me with a mix of fear and what I know was love. I scratched her and held her as best I could, and tried not to cry. Thursday, I held her in my arms one last time and said goodbye to her. All too soon, I held her as she was eased into death with her "Mama" there to comfort her. Her long ordeal was finally over.

I blame myself for letting this happen to my beloved dog, but more than that, I blame the makers of antifreeze. Did you know that antifreeze tastes sweet ? Did you know that it doesn’t have to taste sweet? It is possible for the makers of antifreeze to make it taste bad. They know how to do it. They have chosen not to do so.

The veterinarian’s assistant told me that there is one company that does make an antifreeze with a bad taste so animals aren’t encouraged to drink it. In my grief, I didn’t ask her which company. If other companies had cared enough to follow their example, my " baby" might still be with me. I could still hold her, look into her loving brown eyes, and toss a ball for her to joyously capture and play keep away with me. she would still be deliriously happy to see me upon my return.

I would love to be able to put her on her leash and let her go out to "potty" and greet the world. I would love to have another chance to scratch her ears or her stomach. I would even love to be able to hush her when she barked too much. I’ll never be able to do those things again.

I plan to get addresses of antifreeze manufacturers and plead with them to change the deadly lure of sweetness in their product. I am asking you to do the same. I don’t want anyone else’s pet to experience the horror of this death. I don’t want any other pet owners to experience the guilt and emptiness I am feeling. I don’t want this to happen to Dinky. I want to make Snuggle Bug’s death more than just one of the worst events of my life. Please help me. Please help the wild animals and pets who can’t help themselves.

Joy Hann

Bluffton, Indiana

Email is

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A related link is My pet couldn’t have been poisoned by Sam Connelly, an experienced veterinary tech. Propylene glycol is the base for pet-safe antifreeze. However, this product while not destroying kidneys can cause seizures and lack of co-ordination, according to Dog Owner’s Guide newspaper. Watch your labels carefully. The worst ingredient is ethylene glycol; it tastes sweet. Toddlers will slug it down. Be very careful. (Sandra)

This page is put on line by Sandra Weinhardt, email

Any email I receive will be forwarded to Joy, so write to her directly if you wish. Ms. Hann’s email is