Lowveld towns in Mpumalanga are being plagued by a spate of dog poisonings.
Over the past few weeks, at least 12 dogs have been killed in Mbombela alone.
SPCA Nelspruit investigator Marcell Hoffman said the organisation had also reported that there had been a dog poisoning in Barberton and two cases in White River, Lowvelder reported.
“At the moment, there have been over 200 cases in Middelburg over recent weeks, and it seems to be spreading here.”
Hoffman said criminals use Temic, Rattex and broken glass in food to kill dogs.
“They do not just target the house they wanted to rob, but also the neighbours’ as well. They will poison all the dogs in a street so they don’t alert you when they want to rob you.”
She added people should not leave their garages open, exposing expensive items like boats and jet skis.
Hoffman usually advised people to keep their dogs inside at night to help their chances of survival.
The areas targeted over the past two weeks in Mbombela have been Cussons, Jeanine and Hunter streets and the R40 towards Barberton.
Hi-Tech Security Nelspruit response manager Callum MacPherson said after they responded to so many incidents, he decided to help save the lives of the animals that were being poisoned.
MacPherson came up with an idea of creating a basic emergency kit, which would help slow down the effects of the poison.
West Acres Animal Hospital veterinarian Dr Jackie Hardy added the practice had received about 10 cases over the past few weeks.
“It is best to keep your dogs inside the house at night, however, we had an incident where an owner let their dog out the next morning, and it found the poison. So its best to be ultra, ultra careful at this stage.”
The warning signs include: body tremors (extreme shivering), diarrhoea, dilated pupils and extreme salivating. Avoid touching your pet with bare skin, and wrap it in a blanket to transport it to vet.
After-hour vet services contact numbers for Mbombela:
West Acres Vet: 082-455-4595
Van Wijk Vet: 082-441-7084
Central Vet: 073-636-1989
– Caxton News Service