Sunday, March 6, 2011

P is for Poison. Again?

I'm afraid there's potentially bad news for dogowners in the peninsula again.

Since the events are still unfolding, there isn't much to go on. I'll just put down what I've gathered so far.

The Other Half heard yesterday evening from SheilaFudge that a dog named Charlie had died from ingesting poison at Ewenton. SheilaFudge had heard this from LianneTrudeau, who heard it from Calley, who walks Trudeau.

I'm not familiar with Charlie. He's apparently newish to the park. He sounds like he might be a puppy.

This morning, I found this comment on the blog, awaiting moderation. It was from one of Georgia's old friends, FranTara, whom we hadn't seen in a while, but who regularly goes to Ewenton -

Anonymous said...

Georgia, terrible news today. Suspected poisoning at Ewenton park today, not confirmed though. Oscar's very new friend Charlie was rushed to the vet and to everyone's dismay did not survive the ordeal. He had eaten something in the park and his mouth did turn blue, but the vet could not say what it was he had consumed. This is all so very sad and upsetting, Charlie was a lovely, playful happy guy, who really did not deserve this.

Your distant friend, Tara xox

I text FranTara but she had no further information. At this point, I thought I might contact my best bet, Calley, then make a quick post and send it out to all the locals on my emailing list.

I turned on the computer and found this email waiting for me  -

Hi Everyone,

I've text messaged most of you so sorry for the double up.

I just got a message directly from the owner that one of her dog's died from what seems to be poison. The pup only played this morning down at Ewenton Park. He had been vomiting, shaking and couldn't walk and died within a few hours.

I will update the blog as soon as I have more info.

Please pass on the message to any other dog owners if you can.


So it would appear that Charlie, sadly, did die, and apparently from poison.


Having just made a post last week about A Mystery Fruit that was making Georgia sick, I know there are all sorts of things out in a park that could potentially be toxic to dogs.

In short, I don't know that we can leap to any conclusions here that this was another [DELIBERATE act of] poisoning, as happened last year.

I'll end this post here, but will update it as and when I get more information. If you received this via email, please do alert any locals you might know. I don't think there's any harm in warning everyone to be vigilant.

If you're a local with more information, please do send me an email or leave a comment - with your name and the name of your dog[s] please! - at the bottom of this post.

Thank you and stay safe.

p.s. Here's the link to Calley's sweet blog where she chronicles her daily walks with her doggie clients. You might find more information there on the situation. It has wonderful pictures of our local dogs and is mostly a happy place :)

Update 9pm  A new email from Calley, which she has kindly given me permission to copy and paste here. Thank you!

I had a good chat with the owner of poor Charlie (who passed away yesterday).

Terri (the owner) said that both her dogs Oscar & Charlie were off leash yesterday in Ewenton Park in Balmain East (right by the water police). The pups had a normal play and were not seen eating anything, however they did go into the bushes along the front of the houses which sit right on the edge of the park so it may have been there that Charlie picked something up.

They then had a walk in Glebe off leash, again they were not seen to be eating anything in the park (I'm not sure of exactly where this park is but will find out). After these morning walks very quickly Charlie started to shake just a little, it progressed into him being quite ill and vomiting. At the vet in Balmain he was treated for viral infection as his vital signs did not seem to be showing that it was poison. While at the vet Charlie unfortunately got more and more progressively sick within minutes so they kept him there for observation.

Terri then got the call to come and pick him up and take him to the hospital as it was getting very serious and he was turning blue. Poor Charlie died in the car after just 5 minutes from leaving the vet. At the hospital and at the vet both concluded that it was a most probable poisoning. It is unclear whether it was a deliberate poisoning or just an unfortunate accident (berries, snail bait in a garden etc).

The vets did all they could given that his vital signs were originally not showing the symptoms of poisoning.

Charlie was a rescue pup (around 8 months old) who was having his first week of adoption trial with Terri and her family. It was already decided that he was a keeper and as you can imagine it was a very scary, shocking and sad experience for Terri, Dan & Oscar, who were all so happy to have Charlie join their family.

If I hear of any more relevant info I will of course pass it on, if you know of any suspected poisonings please encourage the owners to report to the council and police as the more awareness the better chance we have of stopping this.


Update Tuesday, 8th March  There was a rumour that Charlie might have died from tick poisoning. That's been put to rest. The vets have confirmed that it is NOT the case.

Thanks to an email I received this morning from Calley, I now also know that Charlie may have been a puppy, but he was NOT a littledog. This worries me even more. What is so toxic, that a bigdog could have ingested and died from it that quickly?

We may never know since, to my knowledge, there was no autopsy done.

Regarding last year's deliberate baiting, GillMollyScotty called the police and was told there were no charges laid on the man who was apprehended because the evidence was inconclusive.

I could say a lot of things about the outcome of that incident, and the lack of information and updates from the authorities who were investigating it, but I won't because I'd like to keep this blog expletive-free.

Update Thursday 10th March  A new worrying email from Calley. There has been bait found in Jubilee Park, Glebe. This may or may not mean that Ewenton in Balmain is clear of something toxic. If you remember, Charlie walked in both Ewenton and Glebe the day he died.

Hi Everyone,

I'm hoping that this is that last email update on potential poisonings.

I've just received a text from Pickles's mum saying that while she was down at Jubilee Park in Glebe today the park rangers came up and warned her that there had been baits of snail bait in steak found in the park.

I don't know any more info other than that, but I wanted to again warn you all as I know some of you visit that park on weekends etc.

Also I got an email this morning from the owner of Jendi (another balmain dog) that when Jendi was a pup she ate some snail bait in what sounds like the same area in the same park as where poor Charlie visited last Saturday.

This may be unrelated to Charlie's situation as he died within 1.5 hours and was a very large puppy, but all info is good to have on hand when visiting the park.


Once again, THANK YOU DogWalker Extraordinaire Calley! I wouldn't be able to share this information without your generosity and super-sleuthing! :) xox


chandra said...

My heart goes out to Charlie's family. Very very good of you and other locals to network on this for the sake of the dogs.

-c at ddy.

Anonymous said...

very sorry to hear that..

I will put out the call to my friends in the Inner West.

Jan said...

How very sad. It's hard not to jump to conclusions but I hope it isn't a deliberate act.

DawgBlogger said...

So sorry about Charlie. Wow poison in a dog park? :-(

georgia little pea said...

for the benefit of those who are reading this blog from outside of the InnerWest area, there was a spate of deliberate poisonings here last year. the person was eventually caught, thanks to a vigilant local. unfortunately, months later, the authorities [council/SPCA/police] have not updated anyone on the outcome.

we're living in a rat maze :(

Peggy Frezon said...

So sorry about Charlie. I hope it wasn't a deliberate act, although it's awful regardless.

houndstooth said...

I am so sorry for Charley's family, and for everyone who uses the park! I hope that they can figure out what happened and if there are charges to be pressed, that they are. What a sad story, regardless of how he ingested the poison!

Pamela said...

I'm so sorry to hear this. And I know it must be very scary to people in your area until you figure out what caused the poisoning.

One thought--a friend of mine uses a cage muzzle (it allows sniffies) with her dog because he was so active in scarfing up stuff he found on his walk. It has potentially saved her thousands in vet bills.

It might be something for people with particularly food curious dogs to consider.

Team Kenzo said...

Very sad and upsetting to hear. Poor Charlie. His family must be heartbroken. Good you and other locales doing as much as possible to get the word out.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update ….. eek.

Gill, Molly & Scotty

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the heads up. I thought they had caught the person who was laying down the poison?


georgia little pea said...

@ Pamela - a cage muzzle...sounds interesting. that's probably what georgia needs :(

@ Jess - they have, quite a while back. but the authorities haven't made any info public, unfortunately, probably to protect the man. THIS incident just happened. it may not be deliberate, as in last year's baiting.

Kristine said...

That's so awful! My heart goes out to poor Charlie's family. I am so so so sorry this had to happen. Just such a tragedy.

Thanks for sharing the information. It's great to have a network of local dog people who will look out for each other. I hope this doesn't happen again to anyone else. And I certainly hope it was just an awful accident and nothing deliberate. The idea of THAT is just too awful for words.

chandra said...

Oh, your update from Calley is just tragic. I just hope Charlie's family remembers that they did all they could for him with the information that they had about his condition. That is all they possible could have done.

I am glad and thankful that Charlie was able to experience the love, security and fun of being part of a family during his short time here.

-c at ddy.

Karen Friesecke said...

When a dog dies suddenly like that, it's difficult NOT to think that it was deliberate, especially with the previous situation last year.

Toronto had the same problem a few years ago. Some jerk was soaking hotdogs in antifreeze and leaving them out for dogs to eat. The Police never caught who did it :(

Anonymous said...

via email -

I went to the Balmain Police Station yesterday afternoon and spoke to a young constable. He opened the file and confirmed a dog had died, but it was inconclusive of whether it died from poison or a snake bite. The treating vet did not perform an autopsy, which personally I find appalling given the history of baiting in Balmain – regardless of the cost and who should pay for it. Given the history of snakes in Balmain, I think we should err on the side of this being poisoning.

Thanks ….. gill and co.

….. ooops, and the constable said no one was charged with last year’s poisoning – the evidence was too inconclusive. Cheers, the gordie gang.

Juliette said...

Poor baby Charlie, I hope if it was deliberate they get caught and suitable sentence - like poisoning them for example. We in the UK don't seem to get so much maliciousness against dogs.

Thanks Gorgia for visiting and commenting on my guest blog about dog life jackets. Seems your little dog was lucky!

Hope you all locally get to the route of this terrible incident.

Big bone and heaven kisses for Charlie and his owner.

Elizabeth said...

Such a horribly sad post.
You are good to make people aware of the possible hazards out there.

Anonymous said...

via email -

Terri (Charlie's owner) came down to the park this morning with her other dog Oscar. She said it was ruled out to be a tick because it was so fast acting and the vets would have found it (he had a short coat).

Terri called the police and made a report and apparently someone has put a hand written sign up at the park. Although it says a little dog died and Charlie was quite a big dog, but maybe they just heard it was a puppy that died...

I really think there should be some sort of update from the police or council about the last poisonings, they said at the Sunday rally that they would keep us in the loop but that seems to have been forgotten!

The people who made those "reward" posters last time as going to put more up as it may help to deter anyone in the future at other parks if they are everywhere.

Have a great week.

Anonymous said...

via email -


This is horrible. But good on you. Please keep me informed.

Alaska is enjoying the south coast. She is helping fisherman by eating their bate and trying to get to freshly landed fish before they can. Its only a matter of time before she gets the hook!


Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for this info. Hope to see you soon.


Anonymous said...

Hi! i just found your blog looking for information about the suspected poisoning at Ewenton. It is horrible. Poor Charlie and his family. I saw that you had written that the Mort Bay Poisoner was arrested. I hadnt heard anything with regard to this. Any information would be appreciated. My dog was one that was poisoned last year. Michelle

georgia little pea said...

Hi Michelle, I'm so sorry to hear about your dog.

I have put as much info as I have on last year's case, in the 8th March update above. I have an older post where you can read about my phone call to the police last year when I'd heard that the culprit had been apprehended. The post is called "At last, a poison update."

Unfortunately, there's been no news from the authorities (that I'm aware of) and apparently, no good outcome. As an owner of a dog that got poisoned, I think you have every right to ask them for info. It's harder for those of us not directly involved.

If you do call the police/council/SPCA, it would be great if you would send me an email or leave a comment here for others in the local dog community to share.

Thanks again for dropping by. P.S. Do we, by any chance, know your dog?

georgia little pea said...

@ Michelle - I'm having problems posting the link here for some reason.

You'll find it in the archives. It's a November 2010 post.

Anonymous said...

Hi again! Thanks very much. I have read your November post. Wish i had found your blog sooner :)
Yes, we see you around Balmain often. I have Oscar the border collie.
My only thing to note to other dog owners is that if you see your dog eat something that you are unsure about, watch them closely for the next hour or so. And if they begin behaving oddly, get them straight to the vet.
We saw Oscar eat meat last year at Mort Bay, but the speed with which he became obviously ill was frightening. After around 30 mins he became agitated - he kept running to the garden to dig himself a spot in the dirt(his temperature was extremely high). He was shivering uncontrollably. We called SASH who told us to drive him there, and by the time i got off the phone (1-2 mins), he couldn't walk properly, his legs were buckling, so we put him straight in the car and raced to SASH. 5 mins in the car and he was vomiting uncontrollably, diarrhea too. He couldnt hold his head up by the time we got to SASH. All of this took place in no more than an hour after he ate the bait. We only found out that it was bait after we went back to the park after Oscar was stable and found a ball of the baited meat.
When people mention the suspected poisoning... there is NO DOUBT it was deliberate. I had 2 balls of meat with poison packed tightly inside. They were both handed to the police. I still have photos of one of them. The ball of meat was large, like a tennis ball.
Anyway, just posting this long story so you may be aware... If your dog behaves strangely after eating something, waste no time in getting them to the vet. It still makes me sick to think that someone can be so cruel to animals. I'll call the police through the week as i spoke to them often after Oscar was poisoned.

georgia little pea said...

Dear Michelle,

Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us. If it's alright, I'd like to post your comment into the body of the post as it would be helpful for others to know the symptoms of snail bait poisoning. I'm not sure how many people read the comments section!

I don't have your email. Could you please write me at the email address you see here? If you send me the picture you took, I could post that too.

I'm glad Oscar recovered! We need some happy endings :)