Burglars planning house robberies poisoning dogs, vet warns

Durban – A KwaZulu-Natal veterinarian has cautioned pet owners to take steps to prevent their dogs from eating poisoned food left by robbers planning to pounce on their homes.

Speaking after treating two Pit Bull Terriers who were targeted with an acidic spray in a La Lucia house robbery, Dr Yonela Nkubungu said it is not uncommon for pets to be caught up in robberies.

On Friday night, the two Pit Bull Terriers had to be treated at the Ashburne Veterinary Clinic after their owners came home to find their gate open and their house robbed.

Marshall Security said one of the dogs had been injured during the break-in. Electronic equipment and a TV was stolen.

Nkubungu said that on further inspection, it appeared that the dogs had been sprayed with an acid-like substance that could have been vinegar.

Dogs targeted

One dog's eye had to be treated for conjunctivitis caused by the spray, and both dogs were treated for poisoning as a precaution.

Nkubungu said it was not uncommon for dogs to be targeted before a robbery.

In this case, the Pit Bull Terriers appeared not to have been poisoned, but in many cases, animals are fed tainted food before the robbers move in.

And while the animals are at the vet for treatment, the robbers swoop.

This was why it was important to make sure pets did not accept food from strangers, he advised.

He stressed the importance of establishing and keeping the link that tells a dog who to accept food from.

"Feed the dog at specific times in the morning and the afternoon," advised Nkubungu.

"Don't just fill a bowl and let the dog find the food. Establish a definite link between yourself and the food," he said.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.