Dog died of natural causes

Posted: November 19, 2013

The Winchester Star

WINCHESTER — Preliminary necropsy results indicate natural causes were behind the death of a dog that had been staying at a kennel run by Russell Ebserole earlier this month.

“Right now, it would appear nothing foul has happened,” Frederick County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Aleck Beeman said Monday afternoon.

He added investigators are awaiting toxicology tests on the dog, and those could take several weeks.

A necropsy is an animal autopsy.

Ebersole, who operates Aberdeen Acres Pet Care Center in Stephenson, is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 6 in Frederick County Circuit Court on four counts of animal cruelty.

Eight years ago, Ebersole received a five-year sentence in U.S. District Court for two counts of lying to the government and 25 counts of wire fraud. That case also was related to Aberdeen Acres. Ebersole’s business, Detector Dogs Against Drugs and Explosives, had a $700,000 contract with the federal government to train bomb-sniffing dogs, but prosecutors said the canines sometimes were unable to sniff out 50 pounds of explosives in a car.

Earlier this month, a dog died after staying at Aberdeen Acres. In a previous interview, Beeman said the dog died Nov. 2 after its owners were called to pick it up early.

“It would appear that the dog just got stressed out at being in a different location that caused it to have these issues,” he said on Monday.

The dog already had intestinal trouble, and the stress seems to have led to internal bleeding, according to Beeman.

“Until we get the toxicology back to show there was no foreign substance in the blood, we can’t really say 100 percent,” he said. “Right now, it doesn’t look like anything suspicious has happened. We just did a report because of the past issues [with Ebersole], and the people called in. They knew about it, so we had to investigate it.

— Contact Sally Voth at svoth@winchesterstar.com