Pet poisonings leave owners heartbroken
JACKIE Harvey was distraught when she found her eight-year-old border collie-cross Jessica panting heavily and unable to walk on Thursday, May 3.
She rushed her to the vet, but 10 minutes later Jessica was dead.
Concerned Monto residents are fearing for the safety of their pets and suspect foul play after a number of animal poisonings have been reported this month.
Veterinarians, the North Burnett Regional Council and local police are aware of the incidents which have claimed the lives of at least one dog and two cats in the past three weeks.
Their heartbroken owners are now trying to come to terms with why their pets were targeted.
Ms Harvey believes Jessica was deliberately poisoned.
"It's every pet owner's worst nightmare," Ms Harvey said.
"If she was aggressive or barked all the time it would be different, but she was the most placid dog.
"She didn't do anything wrong.
"I have two cats and now I live in fear that it's going to happen to them."
Dr Stacey Rae, of Monto Veterinary Services, who treated Jessica, said while an autopsy was not performed, the symptoms were consistent with toxicity.
Dr Rae said Jessica's stomach contents were so toxic that birds died after ingesting her vomit left in the clinic carpark.
Kylie O'Sullivan lives less than 100 metres from Ms Harvey and was devastated after her jack russell George was poisoned on Saturday, May 12.
Cameron Marbach, of All Creatures Vet Services, was able to treat George and save his life, but Ms O'Sullivan's cat wasn't so lucky.
Mr Marbach struggles to believe there is an innocent explanation, and said he's confident he has been able to narrow down the substance used in these cases - information he has passed on to police.
"It is cruel; no animal should have to undergo that kind of suffering," Mr Marbach said.
"I think these cases are malicious. There is intent here and these animals were targeted."
Monto Police Sergeant Mick Bazzo confirmed they had been alerted to multiple cases where animals had been subjected to baiting and appealed for those with information to come forward.
Animal cruelty is considered a serious offence under the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001, and perpetrators face punishments including severe fines.
"Nobody likes to see this happen - it's quite horrific and a cruel thing to do to an animal," Sgt Bazzo said.
"What we don't want happening is a small child coming into contact with these substances.
"It could have devastating consequences and that's our major concern.
"If your pet has been poisoned or you know something, we encourage you to contact local police so we can investigate."
If you have any information about the poisonings, contact Crime Stoppers by phoning 1800333000 or the Monto Police on 41661221.