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Friday, March 16, 2012

Mystery of the dog poisoner: Horror as five pets in same street are killed by meat laced with pesticide

-Two dogs die after eating poisoned pork loin
-Another three suffer agonising deaths after being found with similar symptoms
-Vet described the meat as being covered in something 'suitably evil and suspicious'

By Chris Brooke

Among the five dogs killed was three-month-old puppy Monty, which belonged to Emma McGuire from Knottingley, West Yorkshire

Five dogs from the same street have been killed by a mystery poisoner who left meat laced with pesticide in their owners’ gardens.

One mother described how she came home to find two of her dogs dead on the kitchen floor, and a third dying in agony.

The horrific incident came just weeks after two dogs belonging to another family in the same road were killed in two separate poisonings. Their third pet has twice survived.

Monty's mother Poppy (left) was also poisoned after eating meat laced with pesticide. Georgina Weatherall, who lives nearby, returned home on Monday to find her eight-year-old golden Labrador Chloe (right) gasping, fitting and foaming at the mouth. She had to be put down

Georgina also found her three-month-old Jack Russell Murphy (left) dead, along with her five-year-old black Labrador Moz (right)

The first family were left so traumatised that they are looking to move house. They fear a malicious neighbour could be behind the killings in Knottingley, West Yorkshire, and have spoken out to help police catch the culprit.

The latest death happened on Monday. Georgina Wetherall, a housewife, returned home at 10.30am to find her five-year-old Labrador, Moz, and three-month-old Jack Russell, Murphy, dead. Chloe, her eight-year-old labrador, was gasping for air, fitting and foaming at the mouth.

Mrs Wetherall, a 34-year-old mother of three, said: ‘I came home and saw our other dog Paddy at the kitchen window and clearly upset. I walked into the kitchen and found Moz and Murphy laying lifeless on the floor, while Chloe was foaming at the mouth.’

‘I quickly scooped Chloe up and put her on the back seat of my car to drive her to the vet but nothing could be done to save her. Signing the consent form to give the vet permission to end her life was heartbreaking. We had her since she was a pup and she whimpered right until the very end.

Devastated: Georgina Weatherall and her daughter Jessica, with their surviving dogs Paddy (left) and Roxy (right)

‘Telling my daughter Jessica was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. She was distraught. They weren’t just dogs, they were my family and I’ve never felt so empty.’

'I want to know who has done this. It is absolutely devastating. My ten-year-old daughter Jessica is distraught.

'Our two-year-old Jack Russell Paddy survived but he’s a wandering dog and it has been his saving grace. He is not leaving my side.'

Mrs Wetherall said she and her husband, Darren, 33, had been ‘extra vigilant’ about their dogs after the McGuires, who live eight doors down the road, were targeted earlier in the year. Emma McGuire, 27, and her partner Kevin McGuire, 31, lost the first of their two Jack Russells, a puppy called Monty, in January.

After his death, the couple found pork steaks covered in poison in the garden. A month later his mother, Poppy, was also killed.

Miss McGuire, who uses her partner’s surname, said: ‘They might only be animals to some people, but they were my animals. They might as well have poisoned me.’

She continued: ‘Monty was just three months old and I found him lifeless in his cage. He’d been playing in the garden that morning, so when I found six pieces of blackened meat out there, I took them to the vet.

‘I couldn’t believe my eyes a month later when I saw my other dog Poppy eating something in the garden. I rushed out but it was too late and she died at the vet later that afternoon. I was absolutely distraught.

‘Our dogs were the friendliest you could wish to meet and they wouldn’t harm anyone.’

Their other dog, Roxy, has survived being poisoned twice in the intervening period.

The families’ vet, Michael Shewring, confirmed that in the McGuire case the pork loin steaks from the garden were ‘coated in something suitably evil and suspicious’, which he believed was pesticide.

He said: ‘For two dogs to go from young, fit and healthy to seizing uncontrollably, there’s no doubt these dogs were maliciously poisoned.’

West Yorkshire Police has appealed for information and said inquiries were ongoing.



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