Nikko, a 6-year old Shibu Inu fought for his life for a week to overcome antifreeze poisoning. On January 19 he wandered away from his home and around the neighborhood. The Coash family went looking for him, and an hour later he came home on his own. But a few days later the dog became very sick. Not knowing what had happened, he was put on antibiotics and IV fluids for four days without any improvement. He was rushed to Kansas State University where the doctors were nearly certain it was antifreeze poisoning that was making his kidneys shut completely down. Unfortunately Nikko was unable to be saved. He was laid to rest on January 26, 2012.
His guardian, 12-year old Aaron Coash, is now on a mission to get the State of Kansas to write a law that will make it mandatory for anitfreeze manufacturers to add a bitter taste to the chemical product so no other child has to lose their best friend. By adding the chemical, the sweet-tasting antifreeze would taste bitter deterring pets from drinking the poison.
Six years ago Aaron and his family traveled from Wichita, Kansas to Texas to pick up a puppy, because he wanted a show dog. He knew Shibu Inus were hard to train, independent and stubborn in personality. But that didn’t deter him and he picked Nikko because "he's the only one that really matched it," said Aaron.
Over the years, Aaron and Nikko excelled in the show ring, won trophies together and excelled at agility and more. They also visited nursing homes and schools together.
So when Nikko died, Aaron wanted to honor the dog that meant so much to him. He took his parent's advise to heart. "They've always taught me to do something good out of something bad,” he said. Aaron learned that Nikko was one of 10,000 animals and 1,400 children who die each year from antifreeze poisoning. "Now, I'm on a mission," said Aaron.
He approached the Humane Society of the United States to help him. They wrote the bill that proposes the addition of the bittering agent to antifreeze. Named "Nikko's Law", the bill was submitted Friday, and Aaron is waiting to hear back from state senators. Seventeen US states already have implemented a similar law. Said Aaron: "I want to carry on Nikko's honor and prevent other children from having to lose their best friend."
View more articles in: Advocacy and Animal Welfare