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Warning as dogs killed by poison on Rusthall Common

By Kent and Sussex Courier  |  Posted: January 04, 2013

tragiC: Warnings after Ria's death

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DEVASTATED dog owners in Tunbridge Wells have warned others to be alert after their pets died from poison found on a popular common.

Authorities are urging people to "be vigilant" when walking on Rusthall Common after the deaths of several animals were attributed to eating rat poison.

The common's warden and the RSPCA both said they believe the pets had been poisoned and refused to rule out it being a deliberate attempt to kill dogs.

Chris and Kate Hills, of Lower Green Road, lost their beloved Staffordshire bull terrier Ria, after she became ill following a walk on Rusthall Common.

Mrs Hills said: "I came back from the walk and she was really sick and struggling to walk around.

"I took her down to the vets and they put her on a drip.

"I was told by the vet that he thought it was some kind of poison. I think it was something to do with the Vitamin K levels in her blood and it could be linked to some kind of poison.

"A few days later she collapsed and I had to take her to the emergency vets. She was taken up to be examined and I was told she was bleeding internally."

She added: "I decided to have her put down. I was told she could have a blood transfusion but there was no guarantee she would get better.

"I started spreading the word straight away, telling people not to walk on Rusthall Common."

The family said they knew of at least four other incidents where pets have died after reportedly eating poison, although other villagers say it is double that number.

Mrs Hills now refuses to take her other dogs, Storm and Bale, on Rusthall Common, saying she "never wants to go through that again".

Another Rusthall dog owner, whom the Courier agreed not to name, said his Staffordshire bull terrier fell ill in December after walking in the same area. The animal lost almost a stone in less than a week before she collapsed and died.

In a message on the Tunbridge Wells Commons Conservators website, warden Steve Budden said: "I am hearing reports of dogs picking up poisoned items on Rusthall Common and have been told there have been a number of deaths.

"The implication seems to be that someone is putting out poison bait, with the intention of deliberately targeting pets, but I would emphasise that these reports are not confirmed yet. I would urge all dog owners to be vigilant when walking on the Commons."

RSPCA spokesman Calie Rydings said: "We are extremely concerned about this situation.

"At this point we don't have enough information to know what is causing this but it appears likely that the dogs were poisoned and we cannot rule out the possibility that this has been deliberate.

"We would urge dog walkers in the area to be vigilant and anyone with information to contact the RSPCA, in confidence, on 0300 123 4999."

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  • pink80  |  January 10 2013, 9:47AM

    No its rat poison & its designed to kill. You make it sound like its ok & that it can be reversed so theres no problem. I know for a fact someone is leaving this down, you can not go putting poison down in public places, its illegal. Has a child got to be killed for this to be taken seriously. How would you feel if one of your pets was killed because of this. My kids have been left traumatised as she died in front of them. Its illegal & its wrong & must be stopped.

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  • LGWcommuter  |  January 08 2013, 5:27PM

    Most rat poison is based on the anticoagulant drug Warfarin I was always led to believe that if a person or animal consumed it that the effects could be reversed if treated quickly enough.Vitamin K is one of the treatments

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  • Craig_Courier  |  January 07 2013, 9:56AM

    The people I spoke to said the blood analysis showed higher levels of, I think, salt and vitamin K, which is a sign of a rat poison. Dog owners I spoke to said just be careful and vigilant

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  • LGWcommuter  |  January 07 2013, 2:11AM

    Are you sure it is poison ? They could be succumbing to Lungworm which is carried by Slugs, Snails and fFoxes. http://tinyurl.com/b5zqcya

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  • pink80  |  January 04 2013, 9:00PM

    My dog died on 14 Dec after being walked on the common, from rat poison. Who ever is doing this is sick. She was only 2 & did not deserve to suffer the way she did.

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  • tunbridgelove  |  January 04 2013, 12:04PM

    not a big fan of dogs, but wouldn't with this on any pet owner, pretty tragic

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