Locals are being warned to keep their pets inside following reports of a steady increase in the number of cases where dogs have been poisoned across the country. Guard dogs being poisoned while on duty at night is becoming more common as more assailants are using poison to ensure they are not attacked by the animal while attempting to rob the household the dog is guarding, but beyond this accidental poisoning is also a huge issue.

Director of the Community Led Welfare, Cora Bailey says: “Over the last couple of months there has been an average of two dogs treated for poisoning a day and these are just the ones who make it to us alive.”

Bailey confirms that the general number of dogs being poisoned in South Africa has experienced a marked increase, and that the poison is allegedly being smuggled in from Zimbabwe and used for various means. This includes killing rats and pests, but this is also having a significant impact on the pets in South Africa.

“The number of incidents spike in the winter and we have definitely seen an increase over the last few years. Most of the poisonings are accidental and originally put down to kill rats,” says Bailey.

Bailey’s biggest concern is the fact that there is a sheer lack of policing when it comes to these poisoning incidents, and claims nothing is being done to ensure that animals are not killed by careless people or plotting robbers.

“The fact that there’s no policing around this is shocking and the financial implications both for vets and the owners of the animals is huge. It needs to be policed,” she adds.

She is also urging locals that report incidents involving the poisoning of their dogs to ask what is being done and push for proper police attention on this matter. Locals are also urged to minimize the risk of exposing their pets to these dangers by keeping them indoors at night, regularly checking their yard for meat that could be poisoned or areas that poison could have been carelessly left or applied by neighbours.

Bailey suggests keeping an overnight vet or clinic’s number handy as well as activated charcoal which can be used to ease side effects of poison while on the way to the vet – although it is important to note that this is not a treatment on its own.

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