More than 40 pets poisoned in Roodepoort suburb

05 August 2019 - 07:24 By NONKULULEKO NJILO
Claw has warned that children are also at risk, should they consume contaminated items.
Claw has warned that children are also at risk, should they consume contaminated items.
Image: 123rf/ Maria Sbytova

Pet owners in Florida, Roodepoort, are devastated after more than 40 pets were allegedly poisoned in the suburb, west of Johannesburg, in the space of a week.

"This has been happening for far too long. It has happened in other communities, but it has hit ours really hard. Something must be done and soon," said Christina Smith, who lost two dogs.

Smith said she received a call from a neighbour saying she should check on her dogs.

"When I returned home, they seemed fine. Later on, when I checked our CCTV footage, I noticed something had been thrown inside the yard and they consumed it. We rushed to the clinic and unfortunately they died," she told TimesLIVE. 

Community Led Animal Welfare (Claw) founder Cora Bailey confirmed that more than 40 dogs had been poisoned last week. Children were also at risk, should they consume  contaminated items, she warned.

"It's really problematic, we get poisoned pets daily. Normally we would treat about two, but the past week was hectic. The numbers increased drastically. Some got here alive, some died, many died on the way and didn't reach us, and some died at their homes," she said.  

The poison used, according to Bailey, was cheap and easy to obtain at taxi ranks and train stations. She said poisons such as Temik and Aldicarb were often used.  

A resident, who asked not to be named, said he feared for the safety of his family after losing two dogs.

"Criminals are reluctant to enter a property where the dog can alert homeowners. We are being targeted for criminal activities and the police are not doing much about it," he said 

"We would get more dogs, but it's not that simple. The poison could still be in our yards, for all we know. We're shattered, because we've been with them for so long. To replace them just like that is impossible," he added. 

Bailey urged people to keep their pets away from their front yards at night and to report incidents of poisoning to the police, for record purposes.

Police in Florida confirmed they were investigating the incidents.