Poison feared in dog deaths

Five-year-old border collie-cross Lilly, belonging to Robyn Cowan, was found dead at Whiteman Creek.
Five-year-old border collie-cross Lilly, belonging to Robyn Cowan, was found dead at Whiteman Creek. Contribued

EIGHT families are grieving for their dead pets after a spate of dog poisonings on rural properties west of Grafton since the weekend.

And the number could continue to grow following the first reported poisoning on the weekend.

Whiteman Creek resident Robyn Cowan lost her five-year-old border collie-cross Lilly on Monday.

"I came home on Monday morning and Lil was fine," Mrs Cowan said.

"I went inside to make a couple of phone calls and left Lil playing with the kitten. Half an hour later she was dead. Stiff as a board."

She said her vet told her the symptoms were similar to 1080 poisoning.

Mrs Cowan is at a loss to explain how her dog was poisoned.

"Lil's a desexed female and was not a dog who wandered," she said.

Mrs Cowan said a workmate's daughter, who lived nearby had also lost her dog to a bait about the same time.

Mrs Cowan said she had no problems with landowners laying baits to protect their livestock.

"But they should do a letterbox drop if they're going to be laying baits," she said.

Mrs Cowan lost another dog to a bait several years ago when she lived in Seelands.

"There was a lot of talk about someone baiting dogs then," she said.

Grafton Livestock Health and Pest Authority head ranger Dean Chamberlain said there was no official dog baiting in the area.

He said if there was a baiting program in place the landowners within a one-kilometre radius would have been notified with a letterbox drop and participating landowners would display A3 signs warning of 1080 baits.

He warned the symptoms of 1080, which was a targeted poison, were similar to other poisons.

"The symptoms they described could be caused by a number of chemicals readily available in poisons such as insecticides," Mr Chamberlain said.

Grafton Police duty officer Inspector Murray Gillett said an officer was investigating the reports.

Topics:  poison

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