Dog owners are being urged to be vigilant after three canines were killed by eating poison in a north London park.
Two bull Lurchers and a Springer Spaniel have died since January and a further three escaped with their lives after being rushed to the vet after eating poisoned meat.
The first incident occurred on 21 January near a lay-by on Fryent Way, in the Fryent Country Park, Kingsbury. A dog died after eating some blue tablets.
On March 13, three dogs ate discarded meat placed on the grass verge in Salmon Street, near the roundabout with Fryent Way.
The meat contained poison which killed one animal. The other two were saved by prompt veterinary treatment.
A day after, two more dogs ate poisoned meat that had been placed in the undergrowth in Salmon Street. One was killed and the other survived.
Officers from the Brent borough of the Metropolitan Police are investigating.
ADVICE FOR DOG OWNERS:
- Keep your dog on a lead and muzzle if possible
- If you see any food on the grass verges or in the park and think it appears suspicious, contact police or animal welfare ASAP.
- If your dog has eaten anything and you have any concerns to take your pet to the vet straight away.
SYMPTOMS TO LOOK OUT FOR:
- Muscle tremors, shaking, ataxia (weakness in legs and falling)
- Increased urination
- Excessive salivation
- Bradycardia (low heart rate)
- Dyspnoea (difficulty breathing)
Other less noticeable symptoms can be contraction or dilation of pupils and tearing of the eyes.
Simon Osborne, chief inspector for the RSPCA, said: "We are very concerned to hear these reports. Poisoning is a cruel and inhumane way for an animal to die and one which would have caused these dogs a great deal of suffering.
"The RSPCA has offered the police any support they need in dealing with these incidents and urges anyone with any information to come forward."
A Natural England spokesperson said: “This is a very serious incident and clearly very distressing for dog-owners in the area. We will be assisting the Met, under the Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme, to determine whether pesticides are involved.”
Sergeant Peter Rowntree from Brent Police said: “This is such a nasty, cruel act which has killed three beloved dogs and endangered all domestic pets and wild animals, in such close proximity to a country park. Family pets, wildlife and the amenities of a country park are factors that enhance the quality of people’s lives.
"The owners and families of the dogs affected have suffered acute distress. This is not simple, ignorant mischief, but criminal activity and the persons found to be responsible will be prosecuted.”
If anyone has any information they are asked to call Brent Police on 020 8733 3804, 101 or Brent Council, Animal Welfare on 020 8937 5256.