Family devastated after dogs poisoned

Poison has been blamed for killing a dog and leaving another close to death, devastating a family.

The RSPCA is appealing for information after two dogs belonging to the same family were poisoned in Stevenage.

The owner of the dogs, who wanted to remain anonymous, said both animals became sick after being in woodlands near Cleveland Way, Great Ashby.

A nine-year-old Bichon Frise died on November 20, with what a vet described as probable Warfarin poisoning, commonly used to kill rats.

On November 18 the dog had escaped the family home and ran off into the woods. It became ill two days later, the time it takes for Warfarin symptoms to show.

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Three months earlier the owner’s younger dog had been diagnosed with the same condition after being in the woods. Thankfully it survived.

The owner said she wanted to warn other dog owners in the area to keep a close watch on their animals in the woodlands surrounding the neighbourhood.

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“The whole family was absolutely devastated at the loss of our dog, and we just want to warn other people and make them aware of what has happened to our pets,” she said. “We would not want anyone else to have to go through the sadness which we have gone through.”

RSPCA inspector Kim Lawrence, who is investigating the case, said: “This may not have been a deliberate poisoning incident. However we are urging people to be extra vigilant when out walking their dogs in this area.”

She urged anyone with information about the incident to call the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.

A spokesman for North Herts District Council said the authority’s pest control officers only use rat poison on private property when a request is made by the owner, and not in public areas.

The RSPCA said the problem of poisoning is increasing nationwide. Officers received over a quarter more calls last year than in 2005.

To find out more about the problem and for advice go to

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