Chewelah man arrested in fifth animal abuse case in recent weeks

RaeLynn Ricarte

A Chewelah man has been arrested for allegedly abandoning a sick dog at a local gas station after it drank windshield wiper fluid, which later caused its death.
That is the fifth animal abuse case to draw court attention in recent weeks.
On Friday, Nickolas Scott Smith, 42, was charged with second-degree animal cruelty for the incident that occurred on July 25 at the JMT Express Mart.
A witness at the scene called police to report that Smith left the business without his male dog, a large brown pitbull-mix. She said Smith had let the dog out of the passenger side of the car before he and another man drove away.
The dog was reportedly seen on surveillance video heading for a container of windshield wiper fluid to get a drink before heading to the west end of the parking lot. Smith is allegedly shown pointing in that direction as he exits the parking lot to head north on Highway 395.
Chewelah Police Officer David Watts responded to the scene and transported the dog to a nearby veterinary clinic, where it began vomiting and its medical condition worsened. Dr. Jessica Adams reportedly told Watts she believed the animal had been poisoned.
The dog died a few days later and Rescue for All, a group out of Spokane, paid for a toxicology screening by the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab that determined the animal had died of kidney failure tied to ingestion of toxic chemicals.
“From all the information gathered, it was concluded that the dog was dehydrated and ingested a toxic substance, which could have been the washer fluid it drank,” wrote Watts in an incident report.

Find more on this story in the Oct. 2 issue of the Statesman-Examiner.