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Probe into suspected dog poisoning

PUBLISHED: 17:30 10 January 2008 | UPDATED: 10:15 03 July 2010

Dominic Bareham

A POLICE investigation is under way after the horrific deaths of three dogs which had been walked near Caister beach.

Investigations are centred on the possibility that “emerald green” coloured bread on the ground, and eaten by the dogs, had been laced with rat poison.

A POLICE investigation is under way after the horrific deaths of three dogs which had been walked near Caister beach.

Investigations are centred on the possibility that “emerald green” coloured bread on the ground, and eaten by the dogs, had been laced with rat poison.

Now police are urging pet owners to be vigilant when walking their dogs in the area around Beach Road car park following the deaths of two Labradors and a border collie - put to sleep by vets after suspected poisoning by the anticoagulant Warfarin.

Sandy Dobson, 61, of Yarmouth Road, Caister described how her pedigree Labrador retriever Esther went from being a “bubbly, independent and fearless dog” to a “terrified, quivering puppy” before the 15-month-old was put down on Boxing Day.

She bought the pet in October for her husband Roy, 64, who suffers from cerebellar ataxia, to help him come to terms with his short-term memory loss and mobility problems.

But she said his problems had worsened since the death of his pet companion and he regularly sobs for the return of his beloved “Essie.”

“My poor husband has been up at 11am and in bed by 1pm sobbing. Sobbing for his puppy. He is grief-stricken.”

Mrs Dobson had taken Esther for a walk to Caister dunes on November 7 when she noticed the dog eating a slice of bread which was so green in colour it looked like it had been dipped in emerald green dye.

Within two hours Esther was vomiting. Her condition worsened the following day and she was shaking violently, as well as suffering diarrhoea, and she was rushed to Haven vets, in Queen Anne's Road, Great Yarmouth.

After tests, the Labrador was given antibiotics but became seriously ill the following weekend and she was rushed back to the vets, and kept in overnight.

Following a brief recovery, her health deteriorated and on Christmas Eve Esther became lame.

After treatment failed to make any impact, Mrs Dobson decided to have her put down.

She said: “I got up at 5am on Boxing Day and what I came downstairs to was a terrified puppy, red hot to the touch, shaking, panting and totally paralysed from the waist down.

“And the worst thing of all was not only did she not recognise me, she was absolutely terrified of me. If that puppy had been able to hide behind the wall she would have done.”

Mrs Dobson, who also owns black Labrador Doylie and three cats, fears for the safety of children as well as other animals visiting the beach if poison had placed in the area.

Haven vet Markus Kutschera, confirmed Esther had been treated at the surgery, but did not think the condition was caused by Warfarin because she would have suffered more internal bleeding.

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