Whisky's fighting spirit defies pet poisoner

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 March, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 March, 1997, 12:00am

A mercy dash by the Governor's wife has saved one of Chris Patten's cherished Norfolk terriers from becoming a high-profile victim of the Bowen Road dog poisoner.

Lavender Patten rushed Whisky to the Hong Kong Veterinary Centre after he began shaking and vomiting during a walk on Bowen Road.

Veterinarians said the dog, which has achieved celebrity status with his partner, Soda, since the Pattens arrived here in 1992, was almost dead when a tearful Mrs Patten arrived at their Wan Chai surgery.

In a letter to the South China Morning Post published today (see Page 20), Mrs Patten recalls how she was walking the dogs last month when Whisky ate a chicken wing that had been poisoned.

The same chemical has been used in other poison attacks on Bowen Road and Black's Link over the past three years. Two other dogs received emergency treatment the day before Whisky.

Mrs Patten writes: 'Whisky survived . . . Many other dogs walking in the areas of Bowen Road and Black's Link have not.

'They have died in painful circumstances because out there is a person who is deliberately killing dogs and other animals attracted by the lethal 'treats' this person puts down.' Dr Monique Strange said Whisky was close to death when she treated him.

'If he had been delayed getting down here, he wouldn't be alive,' she said.

'The poison is from the same family of drugs as sarin gas. It keeps stimulating the muscles, and the dogs shake and shiver and eventually burn themselves up.' Despite a three-year investigation police have yet to catch the poisoner. 'We are sympathetic to the owners and we deplore such cruelty,' a spokesman said.

'We appeal to members of the public who see anything suspicious to report it.'