Fears that a dog killer is rampant in the Chichester area have been heightened after three more dogs have become ill from eating sandwiches laced with rat poison.
Neighbourhood Watch area coordinator for East Broyle, Jim Green, said poison sandwiches had been placed at Centurion Way in Lavant – with two dogs falling ill in the past week.
This comes shortly after Sussex Police had rubbished rumours about dogs being poisoned at East and West Wittering beaches. One dog has also died from eating poison in the Sidlesham area, but it has not been confirmed if the poison was maliciously placed.
“We have received reports of rat poison in various areas and it seems to be escalating. We are very worried about it,” said Mr Green, of Guildford Place, Chichester.
Mr Green received information from Neighbourhood Watch members about the latest rat poison incidents. One was reported to him last Friday and another on Monday this week.
Sussex Police has received two reports of dogs being poisoned in the Chichester area over the past two months, but said there had been no reports of dogs eating poison sandwiches while at local beaches.
The first was a report of rat poison placed in bread in an alleyway in The Holdens, Bosham, on February 20, but there was no evidence to suggest this was maliciously placed.
Another report was received on March 29 of an English bull terrier that died after suspected poisoning.
Heartbroken Stewart Pike of Manhood Lane, Sidlesham, had to break the news to his family that the terrier, named Blue, had died after eating the poison.
Mr Pike said: “Our family dog was 18 months old and suffered a great deal. This is a tragedy that need not have happened if people took the time to think about where they are laying such poison.”
Mr Pike added he was not sure if the poisoning was deliberate or not. He said his fiancee Lindsay and their two boys, aged five and six, were left devastated.
The Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme (WIIS) is looking into the reports of rat poison sandwiches. If you have any information about rat poison incidents, please contact WIIS on 0800321600 (freephone) or contact Sussex Police.