Family’s ‘best friend, protector and playmate’ was poisoned and died

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A Southwater couple has described the distressing loss of ‘a best friend, protector and playmate’ after their dog was poisoned to death.

Husband and wife, Norman Carreck, 48, and Andrea Quigley, 46, of Warren Drive, are distraught at the loss of their Westie dog, Candy, but relieved that their baby son is still alive after the dog consumed poison which they believe was a purposefully laid trap.

Andrea said:. “You can only imagine our distress as our sweet natured pet convulsed into a coma.

“It killed our dog but my two year old son could so very easily have eaten the stuff – and that doesn’t bear thinking about.

“My little boy is so upset at the loss of his best friend, protector and playmate.”

The couple had been staying at Andrea’s parents house, in Ferring, with their son Iain and two Westies when the incident happened on the evening of August 23.

At about 9pm, Candy was found in the garden vomiting and in convulsions. She was rushed to the vet, but nothing could be done and she was put down at 1am.

Norman believes someone purposefully poisoned his beloved six-year-old dog.

He explained: “My in laws do not use slug pellets, both neighbours are away and no one visited the house.

“So, the only conclusion that we or the police can come to is that somebody deliberately fed her over the fence or threw slug pellets into the garden which she picked up.

“We are distraught at the loss of our lovely girl. Our little boy has been told but he doesn’t really understand what’s happened. “

The vet had initially been puzzled by the dog’s state until she produced dyed green faeces which led to the conclusion that she must have been poisoned with metaldehyde.

Metaldehyde is an extremely toxic substance which is given a distinctive green dye for ease of identification as just one teaspoonsful will kill the average dog. There is no antedote.

Andrea has described how it felt to have to make the decision to end her pet’s life.

“It all happened so fast. It was a dreadful evening that ended on Friday morning with the only option being the humane ending of her life as simply nothing could be done to help her.”

The deadly substance is commonly available in garden centres as slug bait.

“We can’t believe it happened,” said Andrea. “ Metaldehyde causes a wretched death and it seems like an awful nightmare.”