Farmer’s 7 dogs poisoned

2016-12-29 12:31
Estcourt farmer Lucas Meyer with some of his dogs before they were poisoned.

Estcourt farmer Lucas Meyer with some of his dogs before they were poisoned. (Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - Another Christmas was ruined for Estcourt farmer Lucas Meyer after several of his dogs were poisoned and left paralysed.

In total seven dogs were poisoned by eating meat laced with a toxic substance.

Meyer was forced to euthanase four of the dogs while the others are being treated.

He said this is the second time this has happened to his family at Christmas.

Last year, eight of his dogs were poisoned.

Meyer, who lives with his family on Zaaylaager Farm near Estcourt, said the family were “traumatised” on Christmas Day when they found the dogs lying on the grass unable to move.

He said he believed the dogs may have been poisoned by people in an attempt to gain access to their farm.

“On Christmas morning the dogs looked sick but I didn’t think much of it because the poison had a different effect on them last year,” he said.

By midday, Meyer said, the dogs were extremely ill.

He said he discovered pieces of meat in which small packets of poison had been wrapped near the dogs.

The type of poison is unknown.

Meyer said he owned 17 dogs in total.

“I loved my dogs.

“To me they are family and I raised them,” he said.

The farmer said some of the dogs were strays that he brought in and raised on the farm.

Zaaylaager Farm is a heritage site that Meyer and his family manage. He said the dogs roam freely on the farm but recently he had noticed them playing in a field nearby where he believes they may have been poisoned.

“I cried so much. We have had so many sleepless nights because we are worried about the other dogs.

“I am just trying to keep them close to us now,” he said.

Meyer said he and his family spent Christmas night trying to save the dogs and had fed them a concoction of bicarbonate of soda and Coke to help release the poison from their bodies.

“I tried to save them but they couldn’t move and they were just crying.

“I had to put some of them out of their misery because I just couldn’t take it anymore,” he said.

Meyer said his family were previously attacked on the farm and his son was beaten up.

He added that on one occasion, someone had fired bullets at the house.

“We have had many sleepless nights on this farm. I had so many dogs because they were alert and would warn us if there was danger,” he said.

Meyer described life on the farm as “a nightmare” with every sound and rustle waking the family up in fear that either they or their dogs would be attacked.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime  |  animal cruelty

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