Mansfield Courier

Dirty rats suspected of baiting dogs

Allegation­s of intentiona­l poisoning of domestic dogs with rat bait and paracetamo­l

- By SHAUN McMAHON

THE suspected poisoning of pet dogs has caused distress for a number of residents in the Highton Lane area.

When Jacinta Maree returned home on Friday after work, she noticed her pet dachshund, Pixie, was a bit sleepy and her pupils were rapidly dilating and contractin­g.

She appeared fine otherwise, so Jacinta went about her usual routine the following day, but when she returned home that evening, Pixie had gotten much worse.

“Her eyes were really swollen and had started to close over, she couldn’t’ walk, her tongue was a strange colour and her gums were grey,” said Jacinta.

She contacted the Mansfield vet clinic and took Pixie there late in the evening.

They stayed until 1am before returning home, as it wasn’t clear at first what had occurred, but when Pixie vomited throughout the night and her condition deteriorat­ed, it was back to the vet.

“She was on a drip from Sunday while the vet did more tests,” said Jacinta.

“We checked the backyard for snakes, and took a sample of what she’d thrown up.

“The vet quickly establishe­d it was rat bait and called to ask if we had given her ham.

“I said no, and they said they’d found a folded up piece of ham in the vomit with paracetamo­l inside.”

Pixie’s had plasma transfusio­ns and blood thinning vitamin

K medication since at a cost of approximat­ely $3000.

Jacinta reported the incident to the police, the ranger, spoke with her neighbours, and is baffled as to why someone would target Pixie, as she’s a young and docile pet who rarely barks unless someone comes to the door.

Jacinta soon learnt that

this wasn’t the first report of a suspected baiting in the area.

Beth Ryan had just moved to Mansfield earlier in the year and started a new business while dealing with the recent loss of a loved one, when she came home from work one Monday night and noticed her dogs were off their food.

Sam and Teddy are robust 10 year old Welsh border collies, and while Sam’s a picky eater, Teddy’s the opposite.

Beth thought it was strange he didn’t want to eat anything.

During the night, Sam began howling, and when Beth let them outside both dogs had immediate vomiting and diarrhoea.

She took them to the vet and they confirmed the dogs had probably ingested something, but were unable to find traces of any foreign material.

Beth was back at the vet shortly thereafter when Teddy and Sam progressiv­ely got worse, and the pair stayed over the weekend while receiving a similar treatment to Jacinta’s dog.

“It ended up costing me almost $5000 for both of them,” said Beth.

“The vets gave them everything and were in constant contact with me.

“They survived, but their health has been impaired with the liver damage they’ve suffered.”

Again, reports were made to the police, council, and visits were made by the ranger to neighbouri­ng properties.

No culprit was positively identified, but people had their suspicions.

In the time that followed, Beth had to temporaril­y close her business twice a day to go home and let her dogs outside, until she was able to move house.

Beth is perplexed at the possibilit­y someone would purposeful­ly poison her dogs, as her neighbours commented that they were quiet except for when she arrived home.

Both she and Jacinta find it hard to believe their experience­s aren’t connected.

“It was no coincidenc­e,” said Beth.

“The person or persons that did this are troubled, sick, sad and dark individual­s.

“They intended to hurt the dogs.

“If they’re happy to hurt an animal like that, I don’t think they care much about anything.”

Under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 a fine of $74,620 or two years imprisonme­nt can be imposed on an individual for deliberate and negligent acts of animal cruelty.

 ??  ?? BAITED BY RATS: Reports have surfaced of intentiona­l dog poisoning with rat bait and paracetamo­l in the Highton Lane area.
BAITED BY RATS: Reports have surfaced of intentiona­l dog poisoning with rat bait and paracetamo­l in the Highton Lane area.

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