Gardaí in Galway have issued a warning to dog owners to be on alert after several family pets were poisoned over the weekend.
Gardaí suspect that meat laced with poison was placed along the roadside from Drom to Corcullen, about 10km west of the city on Saturday. At least five family pets were killed and a number of other dogs are extremely ill after eating poisoned meat.
One dog belonged to Keith Finnegan, chief executive of Galway Bay FM, and he said families are distraught.
“Unfortunately, we lost our dog of eight years yesterday and we are all traumatised by the whole thing," he said.
"I know people it will say ‘it was only a dog’ but she was an absolutely beautiful dog and everyone who walked our road knew Poppy. But unfortunately, she fell ill on Saturday evening. We thought she was just tired - I put her to bed and went out to let her out yesterday morning and she was dead in her bed.
"I thought it was natural causes until a neighbour rang to say 'keep the dog in' - that a dog had died and another was sick through poisoning.”
“I didn’t realise the effect of losing a dog could have on a family."
Post mortem examinations are being carried out by vets in a bid to establish how the dogs died and to identify the type of poison used. Mr Finnegan said: “Apparently, it is agricultural product which has been put into a sausage or some type of meat and distributed along the road. For what reason I don’t know, but we have lost her and others have lost wonderful dogs as well."
“There is an 11-year-old who has had the dog for six years; the dog slept with her every night. That dog is gone as well, there is another in the village and also a lovely sheepdog.
“I didn’t realise the effect of losing a dog could have on a family and on me personally. I let her out every morning, put her to bed every evening and she was just an unique beast and anyone who has lost a pet will understand. And all because some mindless thug did this.”
*Gardaí at Salthill have asked for any information - 091-514720.