Dog Owners Raise Alarm After Pets Poisoned At Popular Park
Dog owners are being warned to remain vigilant after several suspected dog baiting incidents at popular Brisbane parks.
Berlin the beagle was Teresa Griffo's "piece of gold".
Ever since her family brought the pup home in January, Griffo said the house was filled with "so much happiness".
But the pair had an even closer bond.
"I've been battling with depression and Berlin was like a therapy dog for me," the 20-year-old told 10 daily.
"I was so happy to wake up with her every day ... now everything is so quiet."
Griffo said she is still shock after the 10-month-old pup died early on Friday morning, only hours after her afternoon walk at Waterfront Park in Newstead.
"Every morning and afternoon, we'd take her on walks at the same park. We'd always take the same route," she said.
That afternoon, Griffo's parents walked Berlin while she was at university. When she arrived home that night, Berlin was already at an emergency vet clinic. By 2am, her condition had quickly deteriorated.
"The vets told us we had to make a decision whether to put her down," Griffo said. "But there was nothing we could do."
Berlin is one of several dogs who have died from suspected dog baiting after visiting the same park in Newstead this week.
RSPCA Queensland confirmed to 10 daily two deaths have been reported, but several local groups claim there have been more.
Rescue shelter 'The Rescue Collective' and pet groomer 'The Pet Pad' believe up to 12 dogs have been poisoned at parks in Newstead and nearby New Farm. Of those, they say up to eight have died.
Locals believe dogs are being targeted with poisoned chunks of meat that are being strewn around parks and local areas.
A community Instagram page also posted about the "devastating" death of a Chihuahua named 'Kiody'.
"We are trying to put the pieces together, but this is just a horrible situation," Nicole from 'The Rescue Collective' told 10 daily.
"There is a lot of community spirit around here. It's hard to see that broken because some idiot has gone and done this."
'The Rescue Collective' has been in contact with the local community, rescue and veterinary network.
Nicole said it's believed the first case happened on Tuesday night, with the most recent incident being reported to a vet on the city's outskirts on Saturday morning.
In a statement to 10 daily, Brisbane City Council said it has found no evidence of any kind of poison or bait.
"While the investigation is a matter for Queensland Police and the RSPCA, Brisbane City Council officers attended the site on Friday, Saturday and Sunday but found no evidence of any kind of poison or bait," the spokesman said.
The council said it would work with police to ensure the area remains safe for residents and their animals.
Queensland Police also confirmed to 10 daily it has received complaints and is investigating the matter.
Meanwhile, after reporting the death to police and the RSCPA, Griffo's family are waiting for answers.
"They kept doing blood tests on Berlin and nothing showed up. We don't know exactly what killed her," she said.
The family will await the results of an autopsy.
"It has gone past this being a coincidence ... I believe someone is doing this and that's what makes it worse," she said.
"If that is the case, I wish that whatever is troubling this person that would make them do this goes away. I don't want them to do this again."
Local vets and shelters are urging residents to watch over their dogs as they play.
"Please do not let your dog eat or chew anything off the grass," Fortitude Valley Vet wrote in a Facebook post on Friday, offering warning signs to look out for.
"Please be vigilant. We love our furry community so let's look out for each other's dogs as well."
Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or RSPCA Queensland.
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