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Vanderbilt couple charged in poisoning of neighbors' dogs

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Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, 6:57 p.m.

The alleged poisoning of two dogs and a cat has brought two neighbors at odds with both facing charges before a district judge.

According to state police, on May 22, Karen Colbert, 43, of 1113 Lower Sandy Hollow Road, Vanderbilt, took her two dogs to a veterinary clinic after they began to be ill. She discovered they had been poisoned.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, when Colbert returned home, she asked neighbors Darlene Bukovac-Soberdash and Donald Soberdash of 1141 Lower Sandy Hollow Road if they knew what happened to her dogs. While at the neighbors' home she said she found a black bowl in the yard with green liquid.

Colbert took photos of the bowl and several bones found around the bowl, which she thought may be chicken bones.

Angels of Mercy Animal Rescue was called to investigate and found several cats in the area had become sick and one had died.

Colbert informed Officer Jamie Speelman with Angels of Mercy that Donald Soberdash allegedly told Colbert's 8-year-old daughter he was going to kill the dogs if they didn't stop them from going on his property on May 18.

Speelman received a phone call from Colbert, who said she saw Bukovac-Soberdash dumping the black bowl and its contents out into the weeds and taking the bowl inside the house and then putting the bowl back in the same area of the garden.

On May 23, Speelman questioned Bukovac-Soberdash, who was unaware of the dogs being poisoned or of any confinement issues with the dogs. She told Speelman about her missing cat and that she was feeding strays in her garden to keep rodents away.

Bukovac-Soberdash told Speelman her husband keeps antifreeze locked up, but pointed to a pesticide spray she uses for her garden.

Bukovac-Soberdash refused to allow Speelman to take the bones that were found to be tested. She ended the interview with Speelman because she felt she was being accused in the incident.

The two dogs and the dead cat were tested, and it was found by the Nemacolin Animal Care Center that the animals had ethylene glycol levels in their blood. That chemical is the main ingredient in antifreeze.

Speelman filed charges against Soberdash and Bukovac-Soberdash.

On Sept. 7, Soberdash was cutting his grass around noon when Colbert allegedly threatened him.

According to the state police at Uniontown, Soberdash ignored Colbert, who then started throwing dog feces at him.

Two non-traffic citations for harassment and disorderly conduct were filed against Colbert.

A preliminary hearing concerning the poisoning of the dogs against the Soberdashes is scheduled before District Judge Dwight Shaner.

Mark Hofmann is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-626-3539 or

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