A dog owner wants to warn others after her pet died after ingesting what she thinks was rat poison in a public garden in Weymouth.
Donna Brain of Chickerell was heartbroken when her two-year-old golden cocker spaniel, Georgie, died on Wednesday, October 26.
She had taken Georgie for a walk in Nothe Gardens in Weymouth on Sunday October 23 and saw her pet deteriorate a few days later, throwing up and gradually becoming weaker.
Donna and her family contacted the vet as soon as Georgie fell mildly ill, and the beloved pet remained stable for the next few days, then suddenly stopped breathing in Donna’s arms a few days later.
The family had rushed Georgie to Dave Cumber’s vets at Chickerell Link Park, where it was suspected the dog had died of ‘rat bait toxicity’.
Donna said: “I’m not pointing fingers at anyone, but we know Georgie was poisoned while walking through Nothe Gardens.
“Heard someone had been doing pest control in Nothe Gardens and the bait boxes had been vandalized and the poison was all over the place
“Georgie was a very hyperactive dog, very involved in everything and if I had seen her eating the poison, I could have taken her straight to the vet.
“We are still in shock over what happened and I can’t figure it out. I just want to warn other dog owners about this.”
The animal was a very special pet for Donna, she said, because the family owned Georgie’s mother and raised her from a puppy.
“It was something we always wanted, puppies of our dogs and it’s so surreal that we’ve now lost Georgie.
“I can’t describe how it feels to have lost her,” Donna said.
Weymouth Town Council looks after Nothe Gardens.
A council spokesman said: “On Thursday October 27 we responded to a report that some of our bait boxes at Nothe Gardens had been dismantled and were lying on the ground. We have them in place to combat the rodents in a managed way.
“Upon inspection we found that all bait boxes were intact and had not been removed.
“Please do not be tempted to scatter substances in an effort to solve this problem independently. These may be harmful to dogs who like to explore the park. Thank you.”
A spokesperson for Dave Cumber Veterans said Georgie “presented extremely ill and collapsed”.
She added: “Investigations have led us to suspect a case of rat bait toxicity, specifically rat bait containing ‘zinc phosphide.'” Unfortunately, there is no antidote for this particular substance. We were unable to conclusively prove what Georgie might have ingested, but unfortunately a zinc phosphide rodenticide was considered the most likely cause of his death at such a devastating young age.
“We urge anyone who chooses to use potentially harmful chemicals in the community to consider their effects on our pets and wildlife.”