Dog owners concerned about possible poisoning
RESIDENTS of Mandalay have been left reeling after three dogs appear to have swallowed poison last week.
Jared McCann was the first to realise something was amiss when his pure-bred Pomeranian puppy Teddy fell sick.
Teddy had been for a walk to the Mandalay outdoor chapel area with Mr McCann’s two children and the family’s neighbours on Thursday afternoon.
“That night Teddy started foaming at the mouth. We took him to the vet but he died on the Friday morning,” Mr McCann said.
At 5pm on Friday, the Piccinelli family’s dogs Mack, a kelpie cross and Buddy, a Labrador, also went for a walk in the same area.
Janice Piccinelli said both dogs returned home shaking, salivating and frothing at the mouth, before major convulsions set in.
On Saturday morning, Mrs Piccinelli started door-knocking to see if her neighbours could shed any light.
After hearing Mr McCann’s story, the pair set off together to inspect the chapel area where they found a fine white powder at the base of the wooden bench seats.
Mr McCann said the powder was reported to Whitsunday Regional Council, whose officers took samples from the site.
He said a wedding was held at the chapel on Valentine’s Day – last Thursday.
“Everyone’s been very cagey about it... but we need to know what it is. I’m just hoping someone will step forward. It’s been horrible for us,” he said.
Orchid Valley Veterinary Surgery owner Mark Williams, who treated Teddy, said the dog certainly appeared to have ingested some sort of toxin.
“He initially presented with pretty much the symptoms of toad poisoning but it wasn’t a toad – that became obvious,” Mr Williams said.
“We ascertained it was something he’d taken in orally because he had injuries consistent with chemical burns on the back of his tongue.” Whitsunday mayor Jennifer Whitney confirmed Council had received a complaint about the alleged poisoning of dogs at the Mandalay outdoor chapel.
She said Council officers were investigating the matter.
“We cannot comment further at this stage, so as not to prejudice the ongoing investigation,” she said.
A Queensland Health spokeswoman said the department of public health had not been contacted by police about the incident. “We do authorise baiting of wild dogs with strychnine but there are no current campaigns to do that,” she said.
Meanwhile, Mack and Buddy are both home from the vet’s but Buddy is not yet able to walk.
Mrs Picinelli and Mr McCann are keeping all their pets at home and urging other local residents to do the same until test results have been confirmed.
DEVASTATED: Mandalay resident Jared McCann with his Pomeranian puppy Teddy who died last Friday morning.
UNDER INVESTIAGTION: A white powder was found at the base of the wooden seats at the Mandalay outdoor chapel. Photo by Andrew Pattinson/Vampp Photography.