Mystery over dog deaths

POLICE officers investigating a sudden spate of dog deaths in a town do not think the pets had been poisoned.But the death of the animals in Woodbridge remains a mystery and is causing much concern among dog owners.

By Richard Smith

POLICE officers investigating a sudden spate of dog deaths in a town do not think the pets had been poisoned.

But the death of the animals in Woodbridge remains a mystery and is causing much concern among dog owners.

At least four dogs have died after being walked in the town in the last couple of weeks and worried dog owners have now deserted the popular public space at Fen Meadow where at least two of the animals had been.

One owner, who declined to be named, said: “One poor old lady took her dog to the vet and when she went back the next morning she found he had died.

“People are now deserting Fen Meadow and that is bad because it is a public open space and if it carries on like this there will be nowhere to walk our dogs.”

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Patricia Dunne, of Westholme Close, Woodbridge, said the deaths included a German Shepherd and a young Spaniel and added she now walked her dogs along the river wall.

“I called the vets' and they did not say it was poison but probably a toxin, something like weedkiller, but we cannot get to the bottom of it. Now they are saying it is a virus.

“There are a lot of dog owners in the area and we are all very concerned and we want to find out what is going on.”

Martin Hyde, a partner with Smith, Ryder-Davies & Partners vets' practice in Grundisburgh Road, Woodbridge, said: “We have no proof of any poison incidents going on in the Woodbridge area.”

Suffolk Coastal District Council has been contacted by worried dog owners who asked if the council had been laying any poison in the Fen Meadow area.

A council spokesman said it had not done so and added: “We have had a look at it as a public health issue, and from our investigations there does not appear to be anything in Fen Meadow which is a threat to humans. We have no direct responsibility for being concerned about animal health.”

Mick Sears, Woodbridge police's town centre officer, said: “I do not think there is anything malicious and I do not think the dogs have picked up something on Fen Meadow. The vets have said it is a virus but three dog owners refused to have their dogs go through a post mortem so they can not find out exactly what it was.”

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