Dog owners warned of Maffra poisonings

PET owners in Maffra are being urged to remain vigilant, with two cases of animals poisoned by 1080 presented to Gippsland Veterinary Hospital last month.

With the poison put on dog treats, Gippsland Veterinary Hospital staff believe the act to be deliberate.

Both cases originate from the Knight St area, and owners were advised by staff to notify police.

The poison 1080 kills dogs very quickly. It is possible to save dogs soon after baiting, but most don’t survive.

1080 poison is a slow killer. When ingested (usually through baited food) the animal suffers a prolonged and horrific death.

The speed of death is dependent on the rate of the animal’s metabolism.

Early signs vary but include frothy mouth, disorientation, tremors and seizures.

The poison, to which there is no antidote, will also kill humans upon consumption.

In a heart-felt letter to the Gippsland Times, Maffra resident Sharon Chester detailed the loss of her sole companion, four-year-old Border Collie Lachie.

“Just over 12 months ago, I lost my husband of 35 years to cancer and was just coming to terms with the loss,” she wrote.

“I was very reliant on our pet dog, Lachie, getting me through the pain and sadness in an effort to move on with life.

“On Wednesday, April 9, I went outside to get Lachie and found him dead near the front door.”

Ms Chester immediately phoned the local veterinarian, who immediately carried out a post mortem and located several small pieces of foreign meat in his stomach.

“The vet suggested that there was an indication that he had died because of a poisonous bait and as such, the contents of his stomach were sent away for analysis,” Ms Chester wrote.

“I then started thinking how this could have happened and it was then I recalled that I saw him sniffing and licking at something on our nature strip when I had been outside of him 40 minutes earlier.

“To the callous person responsible for this despicable act, you have murdered my best friend.

“Lachie was my constant companion and now I have lost him because of your cruel act.”

Ms Chester urged people to be cautious when out walking their dog.

“. . . There is a heartless member of our community only too willing to poison your pet,” she wrote.