‘Poisoning dogs to rob a house is an old trick’

2010-07-16 00:00

POISONING dogs in order to rob houses is not a new phenomenon among criminals, says Maureen Vida, public relations officer of the SPCA in Pietermaritzburg.

A three-year-old Jack Russell, Minky, was poisoned and killed at a house in Montgomery Drive in Athlone on Sunday night during the Fifa World Cup final

Afterwards, the perpetrators broke into the property, stealing a Toyota Hilux from its owner, Ian Wilson.

Vida says that while this type of criminal activity is more prominent in Johannesburg, similar cinstances have been reported in Pietermaritzburg.

“In Johannesburg, they will even poison all of the dogs in the same block so that they are all kept quiet,” she said.

Vida added that although the SPCA is aware of the type of drug used in such criminal acts, it is best to keep such information away from the public.

“The last thing we want to do is advertise the drug and let people know how it works and where they can find it,” she said.

Vida said that while there is very little that pet owners can do to protect themselves from such attacks, there are still options.

“The best solution is to train your dog not to take food from strangers, but this is very difficult to do with older dogs and is far easier with puppies.”

“The other option is to allow your pets to sleep indoors with you” Vida added.

“They would still be able to alert you if a situation was to arise.”

Poisoning is not the only way that offenders use to stop dogs from alerting their owners of danger.

“We have heard of occasions where people actually let the dog out of the gate so that it runs into the street,” she explained.

“They also have been known to spray substances into the eyes of the animal so that it is blinded,” she added.

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