Five much loved family pets have died and two dogs are recovering from a suspected case of deliberate baiting in Diamond Beach.
Two of the victims were from addresses along Diamond Beach Road, while a third was in Seaview Crescent.
In the past month a Border Collie, Fox Terrier, cattle-dog cross, staffie cross and cat have fallen victim to the baiting incident.
According to autopsy reports the pets appeared to have been poisoned by a type of herbicide, which has not been available for 20-30 years.
Symptoms have included vomiting, tremors, loss of both bladder and bowel control, mucus and trouble breathing.
According to locum vet, Breck Muir, the symptoms fit the Paraquat – a highly toxic weed killer – picture.
“An organophosphate will cause similar symptoms, but not lung damage,” he said.
“I have been a vet for 50 years and I have never seen a Paraquat poisoning.”
Dr Muir said there was no antidote.
Sadly dog poisoning has always been a problem, he said.
While there was little that could be done, he advised residents in Diamond Beach, Red Head and Hallidays Point to be aware this was happening and it was likely to be a local.
And, because dogs had been taken to vets in both the Taree and Forster-Tuncurry area he was unsure how many had died.
I have been a vet for 50 years and I have never seen a Paraquat poisoning
When Kylie Williams’ short-haired Border Collie Gypsy died on Sunday, August 6 it became the fourth dog victim.
“I think we have someone in the area who is deliberately poisoning our pets,” a devastated Kylie said.
“It is just awful,” she said.
“Who is doing this; who is the idiot?”
The Williams family has spent more than $1000 on vet bills, but they no longer have their adored dog.
Kylie acknowledged catching the culprit would be difficult, a sentiment which also had been agreed by Manning Great Lakes LAC duty officer, Inspector Allan Fidock.
Inspector Fidock said the death of two dogs and another dog suffering symptoms of poising had been reported to police.
But, it was unclear if the dogs had been deliberately baited, he said.
The Watts family has resorted to installing a security camera at their Seaview Crescent residence after losing two dogs in the past 12 months
After battling for a week eight-month-old Staffie cross puppy Cinnamon died in early June, while last year their eight-year-old previously healthy Jack Russell mysteriously died.
“We did not know what was wrong with him; now I suspect he was poisoned,”Jess said.
She said the family – including her 11, seven and four-year-old children – had been devastated.
The senseless and unnecessary loss of their dogs has spelt the end of this family having the enjoyment of a pet.