Fears of dog poisoner on Lamma
Pet owners on Lamma Island fear a dog poisoner is on the loose after at least six animals died in the past three weeks.
One owner, who lost a chow, said yesterday that the actual figure was more than 10 because some cases had not been reported and the owners had decided to bury their dead pets.
The Lamma Animal Welfare Centre is warning all dog owners to be on the alert.
Centre chairwoman Elizabeth Huang said the dogs died after apparently eating bait laced with poison in either Yung Shue Long or around the fire station in Yung Shue Wan.
'We believe the poison was sprayed on meat left out on the street. It was a deliberate act,' Huang said. Dr Hans de Vries of the Lamma Veterinary Clinic said he had come across three poisoning cases involving seven dogs in the past two to three weeks. Six out of the seven died and the remaining one was dying.
He said a lethal weed killer - paraquat - was the probable poison. The dogs he treated suffered the same symptoms - vomiting, difficulty in breathing and bleeding mouths.
The latest case was on Sunday when an islander was walking two chows - Guapa and Ginger - in Yung Shue Long. The woman said she spotted her three-year-old female dogs eating something. 'I stopped them but it was too late.'
The two pets threw up at night and were taken to a vet the next day. Guapa was put down on Tuesday to end her suffering. The owner said yesterday that Ginger was dying.
She urged other victims to report cases to the police, saying: 'Everyone on the island is frightened.'
It is also alleged that poison-laced bait was dropped into the front yard of a village house in one case. But Huang said no bait was discovered.
She said: 'Pet owners should walk their dogs on a leash, muzzle them and keep an eye on their pets.'
She asked islanders to keep an eye out for people acting suspiciously and tell police, and also to report any suspected toxic bait found.
The animal welfare group plans to put up posters to warn islanders and visitors in Yung Shue Wan.
Police said they had received one report on Tuesday. 'We are looking into the allegation,' an officer said.
Dozens of dogs have been poisoned and killed along Bowen Road and the Black's Link area in Mid-Levels.
One victim was former governor Chris Patten's dog, Whisky, which survived after eating poisoned chicken four months before the 1997 handover.
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals believes that more than 100 dogs have been killed since 1989.
A reward of HK$160,000, offered by the society, is still at stake for anyone who can help find the culprit.