"She was spunky and she was adorable and just full of it. And the cat wasn't really impressed with her, but they were making friends," Julie Tillson said.
Tillson and her family adopted Scarlet the pup as a 9-week-old to fill the hole in their heart left by the death of their previous dog, Buck.
"Bought toys for her, took the old dog's bed right over-- she fit right in," Tillson said.
But last Friday, the cute mutt they picked up at a New York shelter fell ill. Tillson took her to the vet day after day after day.
"Seemed to be worse, was constantly scratching herself, couldn't get comfortable, she was going around in circles," Tillson said.
Scarlet grew sicker and sicker until Monday, when Tillson made the painful decision to put her down. The pup bit Tillson the day before, so the law required an autopsy afterward to check for rabies.
"I said that's a good idea, never in a million years, ever expecting it to come back positive," Tillson said.
Vermont state health spokespeople say this is the first case of rabies in a domestic dog since 1994.
"So, this is very, very rare. Although we do have the rabies virus here, it mostly afflicts wild animals," said Megan Stearns, the director of communications for the Humane Society of Chittenden County.
Scarlet was too young to receive a rabies vaccine, but experts say those considering adoption should ask about the animal's medical history and how it got to the shelter.
"They should ask the adoptive agency what measures they've taken to evaluate the overall health of the animal," Stearns said.
It's unclear where Scarlet picked up the neurological disease, but the upstate New York shelter initially gave Tillson paperwork indicating the dog had received the rabies vaccination. They called her within hours of the adoption to say they'd provided paperwork for a different dog.
Now, Tillson, her family, her friends, and every animal that came in contact with the pup is receiving medical attention, as well.
Rabies treatment for those exposed involves multiple shots over a 14-day period. Tillson say all of those getting care do have health insurance, but it's not clear how much if any of the treatment will be covered.
Tuesday, December 10 2013 4:48 AM EST2013-12-10 09:48:36 GMT
A former New Hampshire police chief will not face criminal charges. David Seastrand resigned in April after four women came forward and accused him of inappropriate actions ranging from sexual contactMore >>
A former New Hampshire police chief will not face criminal charges.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 4:46 AM EST2013-12-10 09:46:02 GMT
St. Albans police are on the hunt for an armed robber who targeted a convenience store. Police say at about 9:45 p.m. Monday, a man entered the South Main Grocery and displayed a weapon. He left the storeMore >>
St. Albans police are on the hunt for an armed robber who targeted a convenience store.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 12:42 AM EST2013-12-10 05:42:52 GMT
A busy night Monday at the Burlington city council meeting where redistricting the city was a major discussion. Population shifts have forced the city to remap Burlington's districts to create more equalMore >>
A busy night Monday at the Burlington city council meeting where redistricting the city was a major discussion.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 12:41 AM EST2013-12-10 05:41:52 GMT
Burlington considers plans for the run-down Moran Plant. For 25 years, the coal-fired power plant has stood empty on the Burlington waterfront. A proposed project -- called the "New Moran" -- would beMore >>
Burlington considers plans for the run-down Moran Plant.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 12:41 AM EST2013-12-10 05:41:12 GMT
A child playing with a lighter was responsible for a Champlain, New York apartment fire. That's according to the Champlain Fire Department. Firefighters arrived at this apartment complex at 25 SpruceMore >>
A child playing with a lighter was responsible for a Champlain, New York apartment fire. That's according to the Champlain Fire Department.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 12:39 AM EST2013-12-10 05:39:43 GMT
An equipment fire kept crews busy in Middlebury Monday. About 30 firefighters responded to a blaze at the Champlain Valley Equipment facility on Exchange Street. The Middlebury fire chief says there'sMore >>
An equipment fire kept crews busy in Middlebury Monday.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 12:35 AM EST2013-12-10 05:35:13 GMT
Police say a woman walked out of the WalMart in Williston with two stolen computers Monday.The suspect was caught on surveillance cameras. The HP Pavilion computers are worth more than $1,000. If youMore >>
Police say a woman walked out of the Wal Mart in Williston with two stolen computers Monday.More >>
Monday, December 9 2013 10:26 PM EST2013-12-10 03:26:26 GMT
South Burlington is using a grant to tackle the slew of vacant properties near the airport.The city will use $17,000 for community outreach and research to make a plan for the homes. They were purchasedMore >>
South Burlington is using a grant to tackle the slew of vacant properties near the airport.More >>