Mui Wo residents have doubled a reward for a suspected poisoner after a fifth dog died an excruciating death in the Lantau town.
A pedigree Scottish terrier owned by local resident Lynn Charleston convulsed and died yesterday, after apparently consuming poisoned bait while on a walk with its owner that morning.
The bounty was raised from HK$30,000 to HK$60,000 after another resident put up the extra money.
A friend, Julie Nunn, said Charleston had taken her dog out at about 11.30am, when it ran up to a tree and ate the bait near Mui Wo School.
The dog showed no sign of being ill when she brought it home and she went to work.
But her maid telephoned her at 5pm with the news that the dog was convulsing violently. It was taken to the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' veterinary clinic in Mui Wo where it died.
"She hasn't stopped crying," Nunn said of Charleston.
The case has been reported to the police.
The latest incident follows four similar deaths of dogs that came into contact with poisoned bait on the roadside in Mui Wo in January. The reward is being offered for information that will lead to a prosecution.
A Filipino domestic helper, 41, fell ill after cleaning up the vomit of one of the dogs.
While the SPCA was awaiting the results of toxicology tests, one veterinarian said the cause of death might have been poisoning by strychnine, an ingredient common in rat bait that can be fatal to humans.
An Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department spokeswoman said the department would conduct an autopsy on one of the dogs. The use of strychnine as a pesticide is illegal.