Warning after dog poisoned with antifreeze in 'horrible act'
A woman has warned dog owners to be vigilant after a pup was poisoned by antifreeze and died "a horrible death".
Catherine McDowell raised the alarm after she found a water bowl filled with the lethal substance outside an estate agent's in Comber.
Her warning came after vet Alan Hartley said a toxicology report confirmed that a seven-month-old pup that died at his clinic two weeks ago had ingested antifreeze.
"It's a horrible death and a horrible way to go," said Mr Hartley, the clinical director at Cedarmount Veterinary Clinic in Bangor.
"If this is deliberate, it's awful. It's tantamount to animal abuse.
"It's the sort of thing that should be prosecuted very heavily if they find out who did it. It's as bad as beating animals or locking them up."
Ms McDowell, who works at Tim Martin and Co on Castle Street, told how a local business owner called in to say that the dog bowl outside the office appeared to have been filled with "some strange liquid".
"I went outside and lifted up the bowl. When I smelled the bright green liquid (I knew) it was antifreeze," she said.
"I immediately poured it down the drain and posted a message on social media to alert people because a lot of businesses in the area puts bowls out for dogs."
Ms McDowell said she was then contacted by a local veterinary nurse who told her that they had recently dealt with an antifreeze poisoning incident.
"I have dogs myself and you would hate to think that anyone would deliberately set out to kill them," Ms McDowell said.
"Comber is a close-knit community, we're a nation of pet lovers and I can't believe that someone would do that."
Mr Hartley told of his frantic efforts to save the puppy - a Westie cross - after it was taken to his practice.
"He'd been sick for 36 hours. He'd been to the emergency vet overnight and they couldn't find anything specific," he said.
"When he got to us he could barely stand. Despite all the treatment, his kidney function started to go and we had to put him to sleep.
"The toxicology report after his death confirmed our suspicions.
"The dog's owners were absolutely devastated. This was a very selfish, horrible thing to do."