A WOMAN who believes two of her dogs were fatally poisoned in Alcester is warning pet-owners to take care.
Dr Gail Williams, from Wilmcote, feels certain her two Terriers, Macy and Frodo, died after consuming poisoned raw chicken in Oversley Woods, at some point between August 23 and 24.
The dogs had been given a clean bill of health just days before but after their walk in the wood both began to act strangely and suffer from lethargy. Within a week both dogs were dead.
Gail and her husband, Peter Howard, quickly noticed Terrier-cross Macy wandering aimlessly around the house, and within days she was refusing to eat, bumping into furniture, walking in circles and falling over. Frodo also became ill, suffering several epileptic fits and incontinence.
Concerned Gail, who bred the siblings herself, contacted a vet who prescribed medicine to calm the animals.
She said: “On August 30, Macy woke us at about 3am howling and screaming. I gave her some canine anti-inflammatory medicine and after a few minutes she stopped crying and fell asleep.
“We had already decided that we were going to call the vet again first thing in the morning. However, at around 4.30am my husband woke me in tears saying that Macy had just died in his arms.”
As Frodo’s fits got more frequent and more severe, Veterinary Physiotherapist Gail realised that something serious must be happening.
“We had heard rumours that raw chicken fillets had been spotted scattered around the woods, but having not seen them ourselves had not given them much thought.”
All the symptoms the pets showed led the vets to believe they had brain tumors. But Gail said she was not convinced, the likelihood of them showing symptoms in the same week was too small and she believed it had to be the result of toxins.
On September 2, less than a week after Macy had died, Gail and her husband were forced to make a difficult decision to put Frodo to sleep.
“Both the dogs were 13 years old, but in excellent health. They meant a great deal to the family and have lived with us their whole lives.
“We will miss them greatly, and hope other pet owners will be aware of this issue when walking their animals.”
A police spokesperson said: “We received a report on September 5 concerning the death of two dogs following a walk in Oversley Wood.
“It has been reported that pieces of raw chicken had been seen on paths in the area around the 23 August but no such items have been recovered.
“It is understood that the results of post-mortem tests to determine the cause of death are not yet known but the local Safer Neighbourhood Team has been notified.”