WHAT kind of person would want to kill a loveable pet like Dora the golden retriever?
That is what Goodna mum Maree Fazackerley is asking herself after her beloved pet was deliberately fed poison-soaked bait.
The 31-year-old said she became concerned after Dora stopped eating and began vomiting and groaning a lot.
When the six-year-old dog was rushed to the vet to have its stomach pumped, veterinarians discovered Dora had eaten a ball of mince stuffed with unidentifiable tablets.
More worrying was that the mince also contained traces of rat poison.
Ms Fazackerley said Dora had returned from the vet but was still in a seriously ill condition.
She believed her dog was fed the poisoned bait while in the back yard of her house.
"What kind of person would want to kill our family pet in such a cruel way?" she said.
"What frightens me even more is that my young children could have put the poisoned food in their mouth."
RSPCA Queensland spokesman Michael Beatty said incidents where dogs were given poisoned bait were not out of the ordinary.
Mr Beatty said one of his own dogs had died from a similar incident.
"Sometimes the reason behind this act of animal cruelty can be that someone in the neighbourhood doesn't like the dog," he said.
"The problem is that it's difficult to prove who is responsible for doing it."
If caught though, Mr Beatty said a person could be charged with animal cruelty and face serious consequences.
Ipswich councillor Paul Tully said it was one of most-appalling incidents he had witnessed in his 35 years in local government.
He said he was calling on the State Government to introduce mandatory jail sentences for anyone caught poisoning dogs and other domestic animals in Queensland.
"You wonder what sort of mentality a person would have to actually do something like this," he said. "It's obvious there was some planning involved.
"The disgusting low-life who did this deserves to be jailed."
Mr Beatty said the incident would be investigated by the RSPCA.
He said dog owners in the area should be on guard and urged people not to leave their dogs in the front yard.
Dog poisoning symptoms
- Refusal to eat for more than 24 hours
- Repeated vomiting, gagging, sneezing or coughing
- Signs of respiratory distress such as shallow breathing and heavy panting
- Lack of balance such as staggering or looking dizzy