Beloved dog dies after being poisoned with food laced with paracetamol in park

Dog walkers have been urged to keep a close watch on their pets after at least three animals died in suspected poisonings.

Dave and Joanna Skinner were walking their border terrier Merlin in Anstill Lodge Park, Leicester when he became ill.

It is believed that their dog ate something thought to be laced with large amounts of paracetamol and later had to be put down.

Leicestershire Live reports that in response to a post on Facebook others have commented about cats and dogs falling ill and it appears at least three animals have died recently in the area.

Dave, 51, of Leicester, said: “My wife and I took Merlin walking on Wednesday morning last week and when we got him back home he wasn’t himself. Later on he was sick.

“The next morning he still seemed ill and after waiting a couple of hours we took him to the vets in Anstey.

“He had to be put down. The vets said that although they couldn’t be 100 per cent sure without a post mortem it was most likely paracetamol – and a lot more than just a single tablet, too.

“It had been done intentionally.”

Joanna, 43, said: “We were absolutely devastated. He was beautiful and so friendly.

“We have grandchildren and he would always stand guard over babies and little children. He was such a good little boy.”

Dave said he was certain the poison was eaten while in the park. “It was Halloween that night so we only took him out in the morning when there weren’t lots of kids about.

“And there’s no way anyone could have thrown poison into our back garden because it’s very isolated.

“We kept Merlin on the lead throughout the walk, which just makes it even stranger.

“Now lots of other people have been saying they have had their dogs poisoned, too.”

On Facebook one dog owner wrote: “Please be careful while you take your dogs out. Especially around Astill Lodge. The family are devastated. You will never be forgotten, Merlin. Rest in peace now, mate.”

Responding on Facebook, another pet owner said: “One of my dogs has been ill this week, vomiting and passing blood. The vet is treating him with antibiotics and stomach acid tablets. I walk my dogs here three times a day. So sorry for your loss.”

And one person added: “I also have taken my puppy to the vets after a walk on the country park.

“Thankfully there is no lasting harm. Sadly, I now avoid going there with my two dogs.”

The administrator of the Castle Hill Country Park & Bennion Pools page on Facebook replied: “There are reports of three deaths so far. So glad your puppy survived though.”

It is not clear exactly where and when the other pets referred to were poisoned.

Shee Spinks said: “I have been told that rat poison, paracetamol and antifreeze is being hidden in bones and treats apparently to kill rats and squirrels.

“Friend had a dog put down yesterday as a result of ingesting something on a walk.

“Vet has said this is on increase.”

Trish Cunningham said: “Is nowhere safe! Why would anyone want to poison the rats and squirrels – it’s more their land than ours and they’re happy for us to share. Makes you so angry how evil human beings can be.”

A spokesman for Leicester City Council which owns Anstill Lodge Park, Castle Hill Country Park and Bennion Pools, said: "We have not received any direct reports about incidents of dog poisoning but we are aware of concerns on social media.

"We do not use any products or plants on our park that could be harmful to dogs.

“We would encourage anyone who thinks their dog might have been poisoned to seek veterinary advice, report it to us and to the police.”

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