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Spate of dog poisoning cases reported in Gozo

Hunters warn dog owner to be on the lookout for poison

A Times of Malta reader recommends that dogs be muzzled when out for a walk, to avoid the risk of poisoning. File photo: Matthew Mirabelli

A Times of Malta reader recommends that dogs be muzzled when out for a walk, to avoid the risk of poisoning. File photo: Matthew Mirabelli

A spate of dog poisoning cases has been reported in Gozo, particularly in the areas of Ta’ Ċenċ, in the limits of Sannat, and the nearby locality of Munxar, fuelling alarm among pet lovers.

Nine dogs were treated for poisoning within hours of each other a few days ago.

The alarm bells were sounded by Times of Malta reader Charles A. Gauci, who wanted to share his own experience on the matter, in order to alert pet owners.

“During a stroll with my dog at Ta’ Ċenċ I was approached by two hunters, who warned me to be on the lookout for poison. They recounted how their dog had just eaten what looked like a meatball, which was filled with snail poison on the inside,” he said.

“Subsequently, when I enquired with a number of vets, it transpired that on the same day nine dogs required treatment, all from the area of Ta Ċenċ and Munxar,” he said.

Dr Gauci said this was not the first such incident he had come across. Last May, while at Majjistral Park in Malta, one of his two dogs, who were both off-leash, ate a scrap of meat baited with poison.

Luckily, his dog managed to survive, thanks to the prompt treatment received from a private veterinarian – in the form of a chemical which induced the dog to vomit the poison.

However, failure to take immediate action would have resulted in death.

Dr Gauci reported the incident to the police, and even penned a letter to the Times of Malta editor in order to raise awareness about such cruelty.

For this reason, he recommended that dog owners muzzle their pets when out for a walk as a precaution.

An Animal Rights Ministry spokesman said that no such reports had been received by the Animal Welfare Directorate.

Nonetheless, the ministry was very forthcoming about its intention look into the matter and on its own request was put into contact with Dr Gauci.

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